A Kansas man is charged with murder in a shooting that left one man dead and two others wounded. Two of the victims are originally from India; their assailant was reportedly heard yelling “get out of my country” just before opening fire.
The FBI is jointly investigating the triple shooting with local authorities, an FBI representative tells NPR. The agency is working to determine whether the victims’ civil rights were violated as part of the crime.
The incident occurred at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kan. Two of the victims, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, work for Garmin, which has its U.S. headquarters in the town. Police say Adam Purinton, 51, shot the two men as well as another bar patron who intervened on their behalf.
Kuchibhotla, 32, died after being taken to a hospital; Madasani, 32, is recovering from the attack, as is the other victim, Ian Grillot, 24.
Witnesses say the violence in Olathe, about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City, seemed to be aimed at foreigners. The Kansas City Star reports:
“At least one witness reportedly heard the man yell ‘get out of my country’ shortly before shooting Kuchibhotla and Madasani. The man fled on foot. A manhunt ensued. Five hours later, Purinton reportedly told a bartender at a bar in an Applebee’s in Clinton, Mo., that he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men, The Star has learned.”
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe says Purinton, 51, is being charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated murder. Purinton is being held on $2 million bond; he’s expected to be extradited from Henry County, Mo., to face charges in Kansas.
The shooting prompted an outpouring of support on Go Fund Me pages set up for the victims. A friend who set up a page for the family of Kuchibhotla says he died after “an intoxicated man hurling racial slurs opened fire inside a packed Kansas bar.”
Sreedar Harohawley of the India Association of Kansas City tells reporter Laura Ziegler of member station KCUR in Kansas City that he’s shocked by the violence.
“It kind of sent chills down the spine,” Harohawley tells Ziegler. “I was like, wow. This has hit us close to home … this is home to us.”