“They asked me to sit and I just sat on the stairs nearby eagerly waiting to hear about him,” Dumala wrote, according to a copy of the statement provided by her spokesperson. “They asked me my name, Srinu’s name and his DOB. Then they said something which shook me to core and left me breathless. I could not believe what I heard and I prayed that they take their words back, that my husband was alive and not dead.”
Dumala, who met Kuchibhotla while applying to universities in the U.S., described her husband as the love of her life, a true friend, her biggest support system.
They dated for six years, married in October 2012, and moved to Olathe, Kansas, in January 2014, Dumala said.
“We had plans to grow our family and raising kids and were leading normal happy life,” she said. “However, our dreams turned short because of one person.”
Dumala said in the statement that she learned from police the day after the shooting that it was racially motivated.
“In the few minutes that you have seen Srinu you built so much hatred for him that you decided he did not deserve to live,” she said. “What harm did he do to you that you grew so much animosity towards him? He was only enjoying a glass of beer with his friend. I wish you had the ability to see beyond my husband’s skin color and the beautiful and kind-hearted person underneath it.”
Since her husband’s death, Dumala has been active in spreading awareness of hate crimes.
She has launched a social media campaign entitled “Forever Welcome,” with the goal of helping to ensure the U.S. is a safe place for current and future immigrant generations to pursue their dreams. Dumala also organized a peace walk in honor of her husband and participated in a panel on hate crimes.
In January, Dumala attended the State of the Union as a guest of Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., who helped her with visa issues following her husband’s death.
Purinton, meanwhile, served notice in April about his intent to change his plea on the federal charges, according to the electronic court docket, in a case that carries a possible death sentence.
He is next scheduled to appear in court on the morning of May 21.