Widow of man killed in Austin's Bar & Grill shooting invited to - KCTV5

Widow of man killed in Austin's Bar & Grill shooting invited to State of the Union Address

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Since his death, Dumala has become increasingly outspoken against hate in an effort to share her husband’s legacy. (KCTV5) Since his death, Dumala has become increasingly outspoken against hate in an effort to share her husband’s legacy. (KCTV5)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

A Kansas legislator has invited the widow of a man gunned down at a Kansas restaurant in February of 2017 to attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address.

Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder has invited Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, the man killed in the Austin’s Bar & Grill shooting, to attend Tuesday’s speech in Washington D.C.

Yoder represents the third district of Kansas, which covers parts of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.

Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old Indian immigrant lived in Olathe, KS. He was shot to death while at the restaurant with friend Alok Madasani. Since his death, Dumala has become increasingly outspoken against hate in an effort to share her husband’s legacy.

CAIR wants Olathe shooting suspect to be charged with hate crime

In a tweet, Yoder said he invited Damala to be his guest to recognize her efforts to promote peace and as a message to the Indian community.

Damala says being invited to the State of The Union Address is bittersweet.

“It reminded me of what happened in the past year with me,” Damala said. “But then it was a sweet feeling because of him thinking about me and giving me that opportunity to shed more light on this message. I was very appreciative of him.”

The February shooting heightened international concern about American hostility toward immigrants.

According to witnesses, suspected shooter Adam Purinton yelled: "get out of my country" at the two men before opening fire.

After learning of her husband’s death Dumala questioned her acceptance in the United States. Nearly a year after the shooting, and due to the support of her community, Damala’s answer to that question was, "yes.” She then turned to make sure other immigrants feel the same way.

Dumala partnered with her employer, InTouch Solutions, to create a Facebook page called, “Forever Welcome”.

The page was officially launched on Jan. 16.

Through the page, Dumala plans to feature the stories of immigrants, past and present, who have contributed to American society. The goal is to alleviate people’s insecurities and fears about immigrants.

“My main mission statement is to spread that heartfelt message to everyone, that America is still a safe and secure place for all. And they’re all welcome here to live their dreams and live a happy life,” Dumala said. “I really hope that a positive comes out of it and all people from all different types of walks, that they all feel welcome and they all feel accepted in this society.”

Madasani was injured during the shooting. A third patron, Ian Grillot, 24, was wounded while trying to intervene.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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