Achutha Reddy’s death in Witchita on Wednesday is the second killing this year of an Indian in Kansas where Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead in February. Both hailed form Telengana.
The 21-year-old man, who was arrested as a suspect in Reddy’s killing, was identified as Umar Rashid Dutt in jail booking records, according to TV station KAKE.
The attack on Reddy, 57, began in his clinic and ended in a nearby lane as the fleeing doctor was chased down by the assailant, the police said.
Reddy, who introduced yoga in his treatment, was mourned by fellow doctors and the community, who held him in esteem.
Police Lieutenant Todd Ojile said on Thursday in a media briefing video posted on the Wichita Police website that the office manager of Reddy’s Holistic Psychiatric Services heard a disturbance in the doctor’s office on Wednesday evening around 7 p.m. and saw the assault taking place when he went in.
The manager tried to stop the attack allowing Reddy to flee, but he was chased by the assailant and killed in a second assault in an alley behind the clinic, Ojile said.
He said that Reddy had several stab wounds and was pronounced dead by the emergency medical team that responded.
The suspect was arrested near a country club a short time later, when a security guard alerted police to a man covered with blood in a car, Ojile said.
He was still in custody on Thursday morning and Ojile said the case was likely to be given to the district prosecutor’s office on Friday afternoon.
Pending the filing of formal charges, police did not give out the arrested man’s name, which was found by the media in jail records.
According to TV station KAKE, a Wichita State University spokesman said Dutt was a former student and was last enrolled in the spring of 2015.
The Wichita Eagle newspaper said that Reddy, who graduated from Hyderabad’s Osmania Medical College in 1986, did an internship at St. Louis University in 1994 and a residency at the Kansas University School of Medicine-Wichita in 1998.
He practiced in Wichita for more than two decades and opened his own practice in 2003, the newspaper said.
In YouTube videos Reddy said that in addition to providing psychiatric care he also treated chronic physical pain and expounded a system he called “Absolute Yoga”.
He said that he had suffered chronic back pain for 10 years and that led led him to conduct research and develop the system which emphasised having the “right mindset”.
Fellow doctors and members of the community said his death was a loss to society.
The Wichita Eagle newspaper quoted Denis Knight, president of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County, as saying: “The Medical Society is heartbroken over the loss of Reddy.”
Achutha Reddy’s wife, Beena Reddy, is also a doctor and Denis said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her. Reddy’s death is a tragic loss to our community.”
The newspaper quoted Brenda Trammel, a psychotherapist at his clinic, as saying: “Reddy was an amazing, compassionate man who was kind and loving to anyone he met. He had a gift of knowing what each and everyone of us needed and gave it freely.”
April Marie Schlenker from Kansas State University said in a post on TV station KAKE’s site: “Reddy was so unique to any one else I have ever met in the therapy/psychiatric world. He connected almost instantly with people. His eyes held wisdom and secrets and joy.”
A former patient, Maria William, wrote, “He was always a good and caring doctor for his patients. Reddy you will be greatly missed by many people. Fly high with the angels.”
While some posters demanded hanging the killer or taking strong measures, a medical professional, Pedro Murati, said: “In these sad times we must remember what Achutha would have wanted after such a horror.”
Projecting “anger towards the mentally ill would be the last thing on his mind”, he added.
In February, Kuchibotla’s killing in Olathe by a white man shouting: “Get out of my country”, has been denounced as a white racist hate crime, but Reddy’s does not fit that description.
Kuchibotla’s killer, Adam Purinton, 51, has been charged with first-degree murder and with attempted murder in shooting and injuring Alok Madasani.