Telangana student Sharath Koppu’s killer identified as Marlin Mack, other details sketchy
Kansas City police have identified the killer of Indian student Sharath Koppu at a restaurant during an attempted robbery as Marlin Mack but said they did not know of him before he fatally shot Koppu on July 6.
Mack was killed in an exchange of fire with police officers on Sunday.
He was identified from a surveillance video footage from the restaurant and had become a person of interest. He was found outside a motel by two detectives. Mack had opened fire on them using a high-powered semi-automatic rifle, the police said. He had fled to a nearby home and was killed in another exchange of fire.
Kansas City police have not yet given the full account of the exchange of fire between Mack and the officers as they want to speak first to the three officers who were wounded by the suspect. Police chief Rick Smith told reporters Monday there were four officers involved in the fire fight.
Not much is known about Mack other than that he was 25 years of age.
“He did not have a local record,” Captain Lionel Colon of the police department wrote in an email to HT. “This photo was a DOR/Driver’s License. I think he had a record in Oklahoma from what some news organizations mentioned. I don’t have those documents.”
Mack shot Koppu, a student from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), at a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, where the victim worked part-time. Koppu had arrived in the US in January for higher studies. He was shot on the back when he tried to flee.
Police said Koppu was a victim of attempted robbery and they have not changed that assessment. There were concerns in the immediate aftermath of the shooting if this was another incident like the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an IT engineer from India, at Olathe in the neighboring state of Kansas.
Mack was identified from the surveillance footage by at least 10 of the 40 people who called a police tip-line. “Out of all of this tragedy some really good things happened, starting with the tipsters that called in and want to engage with the police department and try to bring this terrible, horrific crime to an end,” police chief Smith said.
On Sunday, Koppu’s family expressed happiness over the killing of the suspect.
“We received the information about the shooting down of my son’s killer. We are happy that justice was done to my son so quickly. But that does not bring back my innocent son alive. He became the victim for no fault of his. But justice prevailed at last,” Sharath’s father, Ram Mohan Koppu, an employee with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), at Ameerpet in Hyderabad, said.