A Kansas man is facing murder charges after shooting three men, two of them Indian, in a bar in Olathe, Kansas on Wednesday, one of the men died.
Adam Purinton was charged with first-degree murder for shooting and killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, who died from his wounds in the hospital. He is charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of Alok Madasani, 32, who was released from the hospital on Thursday and Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old who tried to intervene and is still recovering.
According to witnesses, Purinton reportedly told Kuchibhotla and Madasani to “get out of my country” before shooting them, likely believing they were Middle Eastern. Authorities have yet to officially call it a hate crime, but federal officials are investigating the shooting to see if it was “bias motivated.”
Witnesses also told the Kansas City Star that Purinton may have been kicked out of the bar earlier Wednesday, but came back and started verbally attacking the two Indian men. Grillot, who was described as a regular at the bar, became involved when he tried to intervene.
Purinton shot him through his hand and chest, fracturing a vertebrae and his neck, barely missing his carotid artery.
“I’m grateful to be alive,” Grillot said in a video released by the University of Kansas Health System. “Another half inch and I could be dead or never walk again.”
Purinton, a Navy veteran, was taken into custody about 70 miles away in Missouri after a bartender at Applebee’s called the police saying Purinton told him he had been involved in a shooting, according to the Associated Press. His bond was set at $2 million.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Kansas is asking for Purinton to be charged with a hate crime both federally and at the state level “in order to send a strong message that violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated.”
The White House renounced linking the shootings to President Trump’s rhetoric against immigrants, calling them “absurd,” but expressing condolences for the loss of life, according to Reuters.
According to India’s Ministry of External Affairs, both men were Indian nationals and the minister is arranging for Kuchibhotla’s remains to be sent back to Hyderabad, India.
A friend of Kuchibhotla’s has created a GoFundMe account to help his wife and family with the pending expenses. On the page, Kuchibhotla was described as kind:
Srini was the kindest person you would meet, full of love, care and compassion for everyone. He never uttered a word of hatred, a simple gossip, or a careless comment. He was brilliant, well mannered and simply an outstanding human being.
In less than 24 hours, the page had collected over $400,000.
Officials say they will continue to investigate.