Family friend of Olathe shooting victims says crime is tough to believe

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A family friend of two victims from Wednesday’s shooting at Austin’s Bar and Grill told 41 Action News that the crime has shocked the men’s families as they try to make sense of the tragedy.

Sukumar Subramaniyam, who played cricket with victims Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, said he first learned on Thursday about his friends getting injured in the shooting.

“It went from 'Alright, I'm sorry for somebody' to 'Oh my God, what happened to my friend?’” he explained. “There is shock, disbelief, absolutely no words to describe our feeling right now."

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Subramaniyam described Kuchibhotla, who died in Wednesday’s shooting, as a man who was often quiet but kind.

“He was such a soft spoken, always willing to help, very nice guy,” said Subramaniyam, who played together with Kuchibhotla on the Mystics cricket team. “He's a teammate. Your teammate always is your brother, regardless of how many games you played with them."

Subramaniyam said he was also close friends with Madasani, who he said was recovering well at the hospital on Thursday night.

“Everybody who knew these two guys always had good things to say,” he explained. “Smart, genuine guys always willing to help others."

Subramaniyam said his two friends became involved in the tragedy after a man, later identified as 51-year-old Adam Purinton, started shouting racial comments at them.

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Kuchibhotla complained to a manager before Purinton was escorted out by staff.

Around thirty minutes later, Subramaniyam said Purinton came back in with a gun and started shooting.

“He took away our friend for no reason,” he explained. “It's just madness."

Witnesses say Ian Grillot, who was also injured in the shooting, jumped in to help both Madasani and Kuchibhotla during the violence.

Subramaniyam told 41 Action News on Thursday that he wanted to thank Grillot in person to thank him for saving Madasani’s life.

“Thank God for Ian,” he said. “God bless him. If not for him, we may have lost both of my friends."

Subramaniyam said he planned to reach out to Grillot’s family to arrange a meeting between the families.

He called Grillot a “hero” for his actions on Wednesday night.

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Tom Dempsey can be reached at Tom.Dempsey@KSHB.com.

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