People react to shooting
Kansas gunfire in bar kills Indian man; victim’s father calls attack hate crime
Sunayana Dumala holds her heart Friday while talking about her late husband, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, during a news conference at Garmin Headquarters in Olathe, Kan. Witnesses say 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.
OLATHE, Kan. — In the middle of a crowded bar, Adam Purinton yelled at two Indian men to “get out of my country,” witnesses said, then opened fire 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 51-year-old former air traffic controller 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 Wednesday’s attack in the Kansas City suburbs a hate crime, but authorities on Friday declined to discuss a motive as they investigated the shooting. It swiftly stoked fears about the treatment of immigrants, who feel targeted by President Donald Trump’s promises to ban certain travelers, build a wall along the Mexico border and put “America first.”
The slain man was identified as Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32. His widow said he came to the U.S. in 2005 to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Texas at El Paso and worked in Iowa for six years before moving to the Kansas City area.
“He did not deserve a death like this,” Sunayana Dumala said Friday at a news conference organized by her husband’s employer, the GPS device- maker Garmin. “I don’t know what to say. We’ve read many times in newspapers of some kind of shooting happening somewhere. I was always concerned, ‘ Are we doing the right thing staying in the U.S. or America.’ But he always assured me good things happen in America.”
Though she did not mention Trump by name, she directed anger at the U.S. government, asking what officials would do to stop hate crimes.
“Not everyone is a Muslim,” she said, describing herself as Hindu, “Not everyone will be harmful to this country.”
Purinton was jailed on murder and attempted-murder charges. His first court appearance was scheduled for Monday.
The Indian government said its diplomats would monitor the Kansas investigation.
A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill in the suburb of Olathe said Purinton used racial slurs before firing. He was taken into custody about five hours later after speaking with another bartender at an Applebee’s some 70 miles away in Clinton, Mo.
The Kansas City Star reported Purinton’s comments to the second bartender. The paper did not cite its sources.
The other men shot were identified as Alok Madasani, 32, who was released from the hospital Thursday, and Ian Grillot, 24, who remained hospitalized.
Madasani’s father, Jaganmohan Reddy, said he had spoken with his wounded son over the phone and is worried about his safety.
“I request other parents to think twice before sending their children to the United States,” he said.
The LinkedIn accounts for Kuchibhotla and Madasani describe them as engineers for Garmin, which has its main campus just a mile from the scene of the shooting. The company is one of the region’s best-known employers.
Police were working with the FBI. Spokesman Bridget Patton said the agency’s role is to help determine if a civil-rights violation occurred.
Purinton, who is being held in lieu of a $2 million bond, was moved Friday from Missouri to Kansas. Because he has not yet appeared in court, he did not have an attorney formally assigned to his case.
Beverly Morris, who has lived next door to Purinton in Olathe for about 20 years, said he never made her feel unsafe.
“He seemed like a good guy,” Morris said, but “anybody who knew him knew he had a drinking problem.”
Another neighbor, Michael Shimeall, told the Star that Purinton seemed friendly and never showed a temper “or anything like that.”
He recalled that Purinton was helpful with neighbors when they had to dig out after snowstorms or pick up a blown-down tree. He said Purinton had photos of the ships he served on in the Navy and other Navy items in his home.
Federal Aviation Administration records from the 1990s indicate that Purinton was a pilot and was licensed to work in an airport control tower. Agency spokesman Elizabeth Isham Cory said Purinton left the FAA 17 years ago in 2000.