The killing of an Indian man in a Kansas bar last week left Kuhu Singh shaken with a sense of fear and anxiety - but also indignation.
"I belong here. My family belongs here," said Singh, a U.S. citizen who moved to the country in 1999. "This definitely is a shock and makes me take a step back and look at my world anew."
Singh, an officer with the India Association of Minnesota, helped organize a vigil against hate Saturday at an Eden Prairie park. More than 150 people gathered to pay their respects to Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old engineer and native of India who was gunned down at a bar outside Kansas City last week.
Witnesses say before the gunman opened fire, he yelled, "Get out of my country." Authorities are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
Singh said as an Indian-American raising her family in Eden Prairie, she has been insulated from some of the more extreme forms of hatred and racial bias in this country. Kuchibhotla's murder, she said, has invigorated her to stand up against all forms of bigotry.
"This is a moment to speak out on what's happening against the Jewish community, against the Muslim Americans, against LGBT and gay rights," she said. "This march is kind of like a wake-up call for the community to engage and to embrace all of the community that has been on the sidelines."
Others at the rally also made a point to honor a Kansas bystander who was wounded when he tried to stop the suspected gunman who shot Kuchibhotla. Ian Grillot, 24, was released from the hospital earlier this week.
Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, Kansas, has been charged with murder and attempted murder.
Sree Kamojjala, president of the India Association of Minnesota, said he was moved by Grillot's bravery.
"That's the America that we all believe in," Kamojjala said. "He's our hope, and we still believe there are people like that in America."
Other speakers at the event included Rowzat Shipchandler, Minnesota's deputy commissioner of human rights, and state Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, a legislative member of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.