Toronto - Two Indian men were shot in a Kansas bar, one of them killed and a third man injured as he attempted to intervene.
Toronto – Two Indian men were shot in a Kansas bar, one of them killed and a third man injured as he attempted to intervene.
An eyewitness reported that, Adam Purinton, aged 51, shouted “Get out of my country” before shooting at two Indian men in a bar in Olatho, Kansas. When he was finished firing, 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotia lay dead. Another Indian man, Alok Madasani, also 32 and a 24-year-old bystander, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene, both suffered gunshots but survived.
The suspect fled on foot but was apprehended five hours later, at an Applebee’s restaurant in Clinton, Missouri. According to a report in the Kansas City Star, Purinton told an employee that he had to hide out because he had just killed “two Middle Eastern men.” Police took him into custody without incident. Purinton was no longer armed.
Anti-immigrant sentiment has been on the rise since US President Donald Trump’s election. Incidences of race-related violence have been on the rise across the country amid ongoing protests to his win since the day of his inauguration.
Reaction from India has been swift. At first in favour of Trump’s election, thinking his anti-Muslims stance somehow made him more amenable to Hindus, the country’s fancy is turning cold. US talk of curbing the H-1B visa program has the Indian government and $150 billion tech industry very worried.
Social media exploded in response to the shooting, with well-known actor, Siddarth, tweeted’ “Don’t be shocked! Be angry! Trump is spreading hate. This is a hate crime! RIP #SrinivasKuchibhotia.”
A friend of Kuchibhotia spoke of his friend as an easy-going person, always ready with a smile. “This came as an incredible shock,” he said. “As he is one of the most gentle, nicest human beings you would meet. He was non-confrontational, non-controversial, easy-going and always smiling.” He has started a crowd-funding page for his friend to help with the funeral and the family. It has already raised more than $250,000.00.
The US Embassy in New Delhi issued a statement saying the following; “The United States is a nation of immigrants and welcomes people from across the world to visit, work, study and live. United States authorities will investigate thoroughly and prosecute the case, though we recognize that justice is small consolation to families in grief.”
The investigation into the incident as a hate crime has fallen under the purview of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Eric Jackson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office said “We are looking at whether the crime was committed via bias motivation. We are really at the preliminary stage at looking at every aspect.”
Meanwhile, shooter Adam Purinton, is being held on a $2 million bond. He has waived his right to extradition to John County Kansas, where the shootings took place.