On Feb. 18, at 9:19 am the Sugar Land, TX Police Department posted this information on Facebook about an Indian-American couple : “Update 1: The two fatalities in Telfair fits the scenario of a murder-suicide. This case is still under investigation.” They were following up a 911 call where the caller had just given the address at which location they found both of them dead.
The Indian-American community in this town is reeling from the news. Many knew the couple. In fact, several family friends received an email that morning from one of those who died.
The case involves Sreenivas and Shanti Nakirekanti. Shanti was found in the driveway of her home with a gunshot wound to the head, when police arrived at the residence following a 911 call. Srinivas was found inside the home in his bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest.
The police appear to have concluded it was a murder-suicide, telling residents, “There is no danger to residents and SLPD is not looking for any suspects.”
The local television news channel KHOU 11, broadcast the reactions from several friends who had rushed to the scene on receiving a 5 am email from Srinivas Nakirekanti, but the contents of the email are disturbing enough that police have requested they not be revealed.
“I do talk to him once in a while, but never heard of any mental problems,” one friend said to KHOU. “It is just a shock. … it will need a lot of time to process,” said another.
According to news reports, Sreenivas Nakirekanti was the director of an energy company and Shanti Nakirekanti was a computer programmer.
Most troubling of all, the couple’s 16-year old daughter was at home sleeping in her bedroom when the events transpired.
A neighbor of the Nakirekantis commented on the KPRC2 Facebook “this is very sad. Just down my street. Feel sorry for the children who are about Issa and Ryans age.”
Sugar Land city spokesperson Doug Adolph told Chron.com that the daughter is in the care of friends, and that her aunt will be arriving in Houston from out of state.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Shanti Nakirekanti was a “Project Lead/Architect” at United Airlines in Houston, TX, since June 2014, where she led IT web application development projects. Prior to that she was a Senior Consultant/Project Manager at Chevron in Houston.
She graduated from Osmania University with a B.E. in Electronics and Communication, and did her M.S. in Computer Science from Texas A&M. She has two great commendations for her work ethic. Her work is described as “exceptional” and of the “highest quality” and “nothing short of exemplary.” And she is described as an “energetic and detailed oriented” (sic) person who goes above and beyond what is asked of her.
In his LinkedIn profile, “Sreeni Nakirekanti” is listed as a “Senior Director, Financial Planning & Analysis, at NextEra Energy Services since 2013. He appears to have served in multiple energy companies, and has high commendations from past colleagues. An MBA from Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, Sreenivas Nakirekanti did his MS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, and had a B.Tech from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in Mechanical Engineering.
He was a board member and joint treasurer at the Indo American Charity Foundation, Houston since 2015.