Bar gunman shouted ‘get out of my country’ before pulling trigger
Witnesses said a man accused of opening fire in a crowded bar yelled at two Indian men to “get out of my country” before pulling the trigger in an attack that killed one of the men and wounded the other, as well as a third man who tried to help.
Hours later, the suspect reportedly told a bartender in another town that he needed a place to hide because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men.
In India, the father of one of the wounded men called the attack a hate crime, but authorities on Friday declined to discuss a motive as they investigated the shooting, which stoked fears about the treatment of immigrants in the U.S.
Adam Purinton, 51, was charged with murder and attempted murder in the Wednesday night shooting in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe.
A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill said Purinton used racial slurs before firing. He was taken into custody about five hours later after speaking with a bartender at an Applebee’s some 70 miles away in Clinton, Missouri.
The Kansas City Star reported Purinton’s comments to the bartender. The paper did not cite its sources.
The men who were shot were identified as Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, who died at a hospital, and 32-year-old Alok Madasani and 24-year-old Ian Grillot, who were hospitalized, police said.
Madasani was released from the hospital Thursday.
The LinkedIn accounts for Kuchibhotla and Madasani describe them as engineers for GPS device-maker Garmin, which has a large customerservice centre just a mile from the scene of the shooting. The company is one of the region’s best-known employers.
The Indian government said its diplomats would monitor the investigation in Kansas.
FBI spokesman Bridget Patton said the agency had no new information to release Friday. She said the FBI’s role is to work jointly with Olathe police to determine if a civil rights violation occurred.
Bartender Garret Bohnen told the Kansas City Star that Kuchibhotla and Madasani stopped at Austins for a drink once or twice a week. At the time of the attack, patrons were watching a college basketball game on television.
“From what I understand, when he was throwing racial slurs at the two gentlemen, Ian (Grillot) stood up for them,” Bohnen said. “We’re all proud of him.”