Indian Man Killed in Racially Motivated Shooting at Kansas Bar
Feb 27, 2017 11:37 AM EST
One Indian man is dead and two other men are hospitalized from a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday night at a crowded suburban Kansas City bar. Some witnesses describe the incident as a racially motivated shooting.
Adam Purinton, 51, was arrested five hours following the shooting after he told a bartender at an Applebee's some 70 miles away in Clinton, Missouri, that he had been involved in a shooting. The man is charged with murder and attempted murder on Feb. 23.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died at the hospital after the shooting, while 32-year-old Alok Madasani and 24-year-old Ian Grillot are in stable condition at the hospital, police said. Kuchibhotla and Madasani work as engineers for GPS device-maker Garmin, which has a customer service center located outright in Olathe.
Bartender Garret Bohnen at Austins Bar and Grill said that Purinton used "racial slurs" and yelled "get out of my country" before he opened fire while patrons watched the University of Kansas-TCU basketball game on television. "From what I understand when he was throwing yelled racial slurs at the two gentlemen (Kuchibhotla and Madasani), Ian (Grillot) stood up for them," Bohnen said, describing the shooting, according to The Washington Post.
Vikas Swarup, the spokesman for India's External Affairs Ministry, said Kuchibhotla's body will be transported to the city of Hyderabad to his family. The Indian government also said its diplomats would help monitor investigations pertaining the shooting, in Kansas.
Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran posted a statement on Facebook saying he was disturbed by the shooting, according to Fox News. "I strongly condemn violence of any kind, especially if it is motivated by prejudice and xenophobia," Moran said. The local police department is currently working with the FBI to investigate the Kansas shooting described as "hate crime", but is yet to press federal charges.
Meanwhile, gunman Purinton faces 50 years in jail over the shooting under the Kansas's "Hard 50" law although the Kansas state has no separate hate crime statute. The legislative department of Kansas said that the law allows a court to impose a life sentence without eligibility for parole for 50 year in cases where a person is convicted of premeditated first-degree murder.