51-year-old gunman rakes up argument with techie and friend at bar, calls them 'terrorist' and asks them to ‘get out of my country' before opening fire and killing 32-year-old, injuring two
(From left) Parents of engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in Kansas by shooter Adam Purinton, mourn his death in Hyderabad . Pics/PTI, AFP
Houston/Washington: An Indian engineer was killed and two others were injured after an American navy veteran yelling "terrorist" and "get out of my country" opened fire on them in a crowded bar in Kansas City in an apparent racially motivated hate crime, police said yesterday.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla (32), working at GPS-maker Garmin headquarters in Olathe, died of bullet injuries in hospital while his Indian colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured when the 51-year-old shooter started yelling hurling racial slurs following an altercation on Wednesday night.
A third person, an American man identified as Ian Grillot, 24, who tried to intervene also received injuries in the firing in Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe. The shooter, Adam Purinton, reportedly got into an argument with the victims in the terms of racism, and shouted "get out of my country", "terrorist" before shooting them. Purinton reportedly provoked them into an argument asking their presence and work in his country, and how they are better than him.
According to police, Purinton left the bar after the argument and then returned with a gun and shot the three men while patrons were watching the University of Kansas-TCU basketball game on television in the bar. The shooter was arrested on Thursday morning, five hours after the incident and charged with murder and attempted murder. Authorities declined at a news conference to say whether the shooting was a hate crime although local police said they were working with the FBI to investigate the case.
American victim says
Ian Grillot, an American being hailed as a hero for trying to stop the shooter said it was "actually the right thing to do". He was also shot with a bullet which went through his hand and into his chest.
'It is a hate crime'
A pall of gloom descended on the residence of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Hyderabad yesterday when his parents and family learnt about his death. Venu Madhav, a cousin said, "This is a hatred kind of murder (hate crime attack). We normally won't answer when such people shout. I have myself worked in the US and I know it. I think my cousin also might have not answered back to him. Probably, after Trump we are seeing this... we feel racist attacks have increased. Previously, there were incidents once in a while, now it has become very frequent." However, the family thanked External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for her immediate response.