A family in India is looking to retrieve the body of Aishwarya Thatikonda after she was killed in last Saturday’s shooting at Allen Premium Outlets.
As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Thatikonda was identified as one of the eight people killed by the gunman that day. However, authorities did not confirm the victims’ identities until Monday afternoon.
Still, parts of the Indian community in the Dallas area came together to search for Thatikonda after her roommates realized she did not return from the outlet mall and was not answering her phone.
“The whole Indian community came forward. They were like, let’s go and check at hospitals, let’s go and check … if she’s with some friends,” said Ashok Kolla, according to Fox 4.
After checking the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office, the search party discovered what had happened.
“This isn’t something anyone dreamt of,” Kolla told Fox 4. “We don’t want to hear the sad news, but unfortunately that’s what it is.”
Kolla said Thatikonda had come to the United States to get an education.
“The family is staying thousands of miles from here, and she came here for … a dream. Coming to the U.S. is a dream come true for many of our international students thinking we are going to have a bright future,” Kolla said.
Thatikonda previously attended Eastern Michigan University and was working in Frisco at the time of her death. Following the shooting, Eastern Michigan released a statement regarding Thatikonda:
“We were deeply saddened to learn this morning that an Eastern Michigan University graduate, Aishwarya Thatikonda, was among those killed in Saturday’s shooting at a mall outside of Dallas, Texas. … As the nation has to once again grapple with a senseless act of gun violence, we share our condolences with Aishwarya’s family and friends. She will forever be remembered as a strong Eastern Michigan University Eagle.”
Thatikonda was working as an engineer for Perfect General Contractors in Frisco. Her boss said that he had plans to make Thatikonda the boss and that the two were very close.
“I had plans to make her the company’s CEO,” said Srinivas Chaluva, according to The India Times. “She was more like a daughter to me.”
The Consulate General of India in Houston said it plans to transport Thatikonda’s body back to her family in India.