WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — The deaths to the Sunkara family of four on Saturday sent shockwaves through the metro. “You don’t see something like this happen in the Indian community, let alone a heinous act like this,” said Shrikar Somayajula who has known the Sunkaras for over a decade. Somayajula is a director at A Grade Ahead, an after-school enrichment academy in West Des Moines, where both boys attended frequently.
West Des Moines Police continue to investigate why 44 year old Chandrasekhar Sunkara, his wife Lavanya and two sons ages 15 and 10 were found dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside their West Des Moines home. “The family was a very friendly family and so it is really painful,” said Somayajula. He added, “For someone who we’ve known so close and we’ve seen them come in week after week come in for classes and we’ve seen them as recent as last Wednesday, to learn that they are not there anymore is something that really breaks our heart.”
Out of respect for the family, Shrikar did not wish to reveal their names at this time but saw a strong future in both Sunkara boys. “They participated in all the academy competitions and even at the national level. “Really bright children. Just heads down and minded their business always,” Somayajula said.
The Sunkara family had high hopes for both children. Despite being just ten and fifteen years old, both developed a passion for a top notch education. Somayajula said, “They wanted to go to one of the top Ivy League colleges the likes of Harvard and stuff but unfortunately they didn’t make it.”
A bright future now snuffed out and leaving a community in the dark. “We have more questions than answers now as to why this happened and we will probably never find out why this happened,” said Somayajula.
Police say other family members, two adults and two children were staying as guests when the victims were discovered. No arrests have been made but investigators believe there is no continuing threat to the community.