Anti-immigrant Hate Slurs Lead to Fatal Shooting in Kansas

A Kansas man is in jail on murder and attempted murder charges after allegedly shouting “get out of my country” and racial slurs before firing a handgun Wednesday evening in a crowded sports bar in suburb of Kansas City.

The shooting resulted in the death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and the wounding of his co-worker, Alok Madasani, 32, both engineers from Overland Park. Ian Grillot, 24 of Grandview was wounded when he attempted to stop the gunman’s actions, the Kansas City Star reported.

Authorities identified the suspect as Adam W. Purinton, 51, of Olathe. He is charged with first-degree murder in Kuchibhotla’s death and two counts of attempted first-degree murder related to the shootings of Madasani and Grillot.

After the incident Purinton drove to another bar in Clinton, Missouri, where he reportedly told a bartender “that he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men,” the newspaper reported. That bartender called police who arrested the unarmed suspect without incident.

Purinton, a Navy veteran, computer specialist and former air traffic controller, now faces extradition from Missouri to Kansas.

The FBI is reviewing the case to determine if federal hate crimes charges should be lodged against the suspect.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is urging state and federal prosecutors to do just that. Moussa Elbayoumy, board chairman of CAIR’s Kansas chapter, said, “violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated,” the Star reported.

Kuchibhotla and Madasani, both immigrants from India, were engineers and co-workers assigned to the Aviation Systems Engineering team at Garmin Ltd., headquartered in Olathe, a suburb southwest of Kansas City.

After work they went to Austin’s Bar & Grill — a popular sports bar near the Garmin headquarters — where a packed crowd watched a University of Kansas basketball game before the shots rang out.

The newspaper quoted witnesses as saying the suspect “was drinking and spouting racial slurs at Kuchibhotla and Madasani. At one point, Purinton is thought to have been kicked out of the bar before coming back and shooting.”

Grillot was shot in the hand and chest as he attempted to intervene, authorities said.