Kansas Man Accused of Hate Crime in Death of Indian Citizen

by: Margaret Stafford Associated Press
/ (David Eulitt /The Kansas City Star via AP, Pool, File) /
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man accused in a bar shooting in suburban Kansas City that left one Indian national dead and another wounded was indicted by a federal grand jury on hate crime charges, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday.

The indictment against Adam Purinton, 52, of Olathe, Kansas, comes after a Feb. 22 shooting at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas. Witnesses have said Purinton, who is white, yelled “get out of my country” at two 32-year-old Indian nationals, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, before he began shooting. Kuchibhotla died and Madasani was injured. A third man, Ian Grillot, was wounded when he tried to intervene.

FILE – In this Monday, May 15, 2017 file photo, Adam Purinton, charged in the Olathe Austins bar shootings, appears in Division 8 at the Johnson County District Courthouse in Olathe, Kan. cting Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Wheeler, II, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and United States Attorney Thomas E. Beall of the District of Kansas, announced Friday, June 9, 2017 that Purinton, 52, of Olathe, Kansas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on hate crime and fire arms charges. (David Eulitt /The Kansas City Star via AP, Pool, File)

The shooting raised fears of more attacks on immigrants following President Donald Trump’s election and his push for a ban on immigrants from some countries. Officials in India also expressed concern about their citizens’ safety in the U.S., where many work in technology and other industries.

An affidavit released in March said Madasani told detectives that the gunman asked if their “status was legal” before he opened fire.

The indictment announced Friday alleges Purinton shot the two Indian men because of their “actual and perceived” race, color, religion and national origin. The indictment also alleges Purinton committed the crimes after premeditation and planning, attempted to kill more than one person and created a grave risk of death to others at the scene. The indictment also accuses Purinton of violating federal firearms laws.

After the shooting, Purinton drove 70 miles east to an Applebee’s restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, where he allegedly admitted the shootings to a bartender, who called police.

The Justice Department said in a news release Friday that it would determine later whether Purinton should face the death penalty.

Kuchibhotla and Madasani had come to the U.S. from India to study and worked as engineers at GPS-maker Garmin.

Purinton is jailed in Johnson County, Kansas, on $2 million bond on murder and attempted murder charges.

His public defender, Michael McCulloch, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

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