KANSAS CITY, Mo. --Hundreds gathered Friday night in Olathe to spread a message of love, unity and a community that will be "Forever Welcome" to immigrants.
A memorial peace walk was held on what would have been the 34th birthday of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian man killed at a sports bar Feb. 22, 2017.
“We’re gathered here today because of man’s one action and the hate that took of an innocent life," his widow, Sunayana Dumala, told the large crowd gathered outside of Garmin where Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were engineers.
Adam Purinton admitted this week to opening fire inside Austin's Bar and Grill a year ago, pleading guilty to murder and attempted murder.
“When it happen that night, it’s the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through," Austin's co-owner Kirk Adams said.
Witnesses say Purinton shouted, “Get out of my country,” and racial slurs at the men.
“That night was surreal one of those how could this happen," Austin's customer Monica Winemiller said.
Ian Grillot, who was shot charging after Purinton, joined Kuchibhotla’s widow at the front of the peace walk.
“It’s a terrible reason that we are here right now, but seeing the support for the community and the continued support a little year after it’s just absolutely wonderful," Grillot said.
Dumala recently launched Forever Welcome, a Facebook page for immigrants who didn’t feel that way after the shooting.
“This is a great movement that she has started spreading love over hatred and getting everybody together," Sridhar Harohalli said.
“Olathe will not let one act of evil define us. We are moving forward," Olathe Mayor Michael Copleland said.
As are Grillot, Madasani and Dumala -- tied together by hate but united by love.
“You all being here is our answer to that one man, that our community believes in being united," Dumala said.
Purinton will be sentenced in May, likely to life in prison. He still faces hate crime charges that could carry the death penalty.