Kansas Man Shoots Two Indian Americans Because He Thought They Were "Middle Eastern"
BY: Nisreen Eadeh/Staff Writer
A suspect has been found in the triple shooting of three men on Wednesday night in at an Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas. Adam Purinton, 51, allegedly shot the three men, then told a bartender in Clinton, Missouri that he shot two of them because they were “Middle Eastern”.
The two men he went after were not Middle Eastern, but rather Indian American. One victim, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was killed. Alok Madasani was injured, and the last victim, Ian Grillot, was shot in the hand and shoulder while attempting to stand up to the shooter.
Witnesses said Purinton, a Navy veteran, was at Austins drinking and making racial slurs. At one point, a regular got up to tell Purinton to stop. Moments later, Purinton opened fire and at least one witness confirmed he yelled “get out of my country” shortly before shooting the men he thought were Middle Eastern.
According to the Kansas City Star, Purinton also told the bartender that he needed a place to hide out. The bartender called the police and Purinton was arrested five hours after later without incident and charged Thursday afternoon.
The two Indian American men worked as aviation systems engineers for Garmin, which is headquartered in Garmin. Both men were highly educated and originally from India, but moved to America for higher degrees and employment opportunities.
“Unfortunately, two associates on our Aviation Systems Engineering team, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, were shot. We are devastated to inform you that Srinivas passed away and Alok is currently recovering in the hospital,” Garmin said in the email.
The company is providing grief counseling to its employees and GoFundMe campaigns have been set up for each man shot by Purinton.
According to police reports, this is Purinton’s first offense. Neighbors said he may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
President Trump has yet to comment on the situation, despite being so focused on terrorism and anti-Semitic hate crimes. Many Indian Americans have been targeted for being perceived as Arabs, indicating the level of race-based hatred many Americans have developed over the years.
Purinton’s behavior indicates that he is extremely ignorant to both the Arab and Indian cultures, which serve as a warning to all people who may be perceived as a certain nationality to stay cautious and report hate crimes when they happen.