Indian Engineer Killed In Texas Shooting

An Indian engineer is among the eight killed in a mass shooting at a shopping mall, in Allen, Texas, this past Sunday.

Aishwarya Thatikonda would have turned 28 on May 18. She was at the Allen Premium Outlets with a friend, hanging out at the stores, when she fell into the path of a gunman’s bullets. Her friend was injured and is recovering in hospital.

Ashok Kolla, Treasurer at the Telugu Association of North America (TANA) told India Currents that her remains have been flown back to India and that the funeral rituals had taken place. “Her cremation took place on Thursday morning, around 1:00 a.m., E.S.T.,” he said. Speaking about the effort to search for her, he added that the non-profit got to work immediately after getting numerous phone calls from worried family members and friends of Thatikonda.

Earlier, he told Fox that he spent all day tracking down Thatikonda after her roommates became concerned that she had not returned home and was not answering her phone. He, along with other members of the Indian community, looked for her at her friends’ as well as hospitals in the area. The search led them, eventually, to the office of the medical examiner of Collin County. That is where they found her.

A project manager in Dallas

Thatikonda lived in the Dallas suburb of McKinney and worked as a project manager at a construction company based in Dallas. In an interview with CBS, Srinivas Chaluvadi, her boss said that she was like a daughter to him. “She was known as Aish and was famous for her trademark smile,” he said. He added that she was well-loved by her co-workers for the affectionate person that she was, not merely as a colleague.

After earning a graduate degree in construction management from Eastern Michigan University in 2020, she moved to Texas. In a statement, the university said, “She will forever be remembered as a strong Eastern Michigan University Eagle.”

Daughter of a judge in Andhra Pradesh

Media reports portrayed Thatikonda as a hardworking woman, who had come to the U.S. to pursue higher studies and was on the verge of a promising career in the U.S.

Her parents live in Hyderabad, India, where her father, T. Narsi Reddy, is a judge at a local court in Andhra Pradesh.

 The Indian media, Indian Express, reported that on Saturday afternoon, Thatikonda had messaged her mom, telling her that she was leaving for the mall. In an interview with that paper, her cousin, T. Srinivas Reddy, said that her parents were looking forward to planning her wedding and are deeply anguished by her passing.   

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Alakananda Mookerjee lives in Brooklyn, and is a Francophile.