Alok Madasani speaks at vigil in Olathe - KCTV5

Alok Madasani speaks at vigil in Olathe

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Alok Madasani spoke at the vigil on Sunday. (KCTV) Alok Madasani spoke at the vigil on Sunday. (KCTV)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

Thousands of people showed up to a vigil held to Olathe on Sunday following the deadly shooting that happened on Wednesday.

There were too many to fit inside the conference center, so many people had to listen from outside.

Shooting victim Alok Madasani spoke at the vigil. He thanked everyone for coming and expressed how he appreciated the support he was getting from all over the world.

Madasani said he and his friend of nine years, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, used to go to Austins about once a week and just talk about how their lives were going.

Kuchibhotla was fatally shot by 51-year-old Adam Purinton on Wednesday.

Madasani talked fondly of his friend and told a story about how Kuchibhotla used to pick him up from his apartment every day for six months and never complained. Kuchibhotla just helped his friend Madasani until he got a car.

He said that Kuchibhotla always wanted to make sure that the people around him were happy and he would do what he could to help make that the case.

He spoke about a man he knew from going to Austins weekly, named “Brad,” who helped him after the shooting.

He said,

“After the incident happened, he came to be by my side. He didn’t care whether he was going to come back, if the situation was controlled, he just came by my side because he knew I was the one who was suffering. He removed his shirt. He knew that there was a lot of blood that I’m losing and he kept his shirt around the wound so that I don’t lose more blood. When I was being taken in the ambulance, that’s what the guys in the ambulance told me . . . ‘That is probably what . . . saved your life.’”

“It was rage and malice in an individual’s heart that killed my friend… killed our friend,” he said. “It’s an isolated incident that doesn’t reflect the true spirit of Kansas, Midwest and United States.”

Madasani said, “I want to take this opportunity to ask . . . all of you for tolerance of our diversity and for respect of humanity. I hope I’m not asking too much, because that is what my friend would have wanted.”

Family and friends of the shooting victims spoke as well.

The Indian Association of Kansas City first marched for unity around the Ball Conference Center. People from all over the Kansas City area showed up to show strength and resilience.

The Indian community in KC and abroad felt devastated by the shooting and spoke out against racism and hatred. They said the message of the day was more about hope and unity.

“This is a bad occasion, but good times,” said Venkat Manda, who was marching. “This is a time when we see people of all colors are here to support us. It gives you a good feeling.”

Mahesh Sundaresan, who was also marching, said, “Color, creed, your background. Doesn't matter. Its' the human race.”

“We all need to be together,” said marcher Smita Desai. “This is one nation and we need to live our life peacefully.”

At the vigil, they prayed for the shooting victims’ families and worked to send the world a message about the beauty of diversity.

Related: Wife of man murdered in Olathe shooting says US must stop hate crimes

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