KANSAS CITY, MO — Police have identified the slain suspect who authorities say killed a University of Missouri student and later shot three officers in Kansas City. Now, the student’s family says they wish their son’s killer had been arrested rather than killed in a shootout.

Three police officers were shot Sunday while trying to apprehend Marlin Mack. Mack, 25, was suspected of murdering Sharath Koppu, of India, during a July 6 robbery. Koppu was running away from the gunman when he was shot at J’s Fish and Chicken Market.

Kansas City police Chief Richard Smith said the people of Kansas City “really came together” to help police solve Koppu’s “senseless slaying.”

“After we released video of the suspect, we got more than 40 tips from community members,” he wrote. “About ten of those all identified the same person. I think this is proof both that the people of Kansas City will not tolerate that kind of violence and that the increased $10,000 reward for information in homicides is paying off.”

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That led officers to the Sky-Vu Motel on U.S. Route 40, where two undercover officers were then shot by a man armed with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle just after noon Sunday, police said. The gunman fled with a second person. About an hour later, the suspect came out of a home on 30th Street and Topping Avenue and shot a third officer in a shootout with police. The suspect was fatally shot.

“Fortunately, all three officers’ injuries were not life threatening,” wrote Kansas City police Chief Richard Smith.

Pictures posted on the chief’s blog showed one officer’s car riddled with bullet holes. The officers are recovering in the hospital, Smith said.

Koppu, 25, was studying for a master’s degree in computer science. He came to the U.S. in January, according to a GoFundMe post created to transport his body back to India.

Koppu was known to his family and friends as a cheerful dreamer who was energetic and athletic.

“He had the same dreams like everyone else to make it BIG in the land of opportunity,” the post said. “He had a great sense of humor, and always made people laugh and was always eager to lend a helping hand.”

Koppu’s body will be cremated, the post said. The account has raised more than $50,000.

Koppu’s father, Koppu Ram Mohan, told reporters in India he wishes Mack had been arrested rather than killed. The reason: he wants to know why his son was gunned down.

Investigators suspect Koppu was a random robbery victim, according to police spokesman Sgt. Jake Becchina.

The Associated Press reported that Mohan said his son had quit his part-time job at the restaurant and was working his last shift when he died.

“The mystery of the killing of my son remains as there is no clarity on what exactly had happened on July 6,” Mohan said at his home in Hyderabad. “I am not pleased as his dead killer will not be able to answer many questions, like why he had killed my son. It would have been better if police had caught him alive.”

Photo credit: Kansas City Police Department

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