2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting

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2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting
2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting is located in Kansas
Austin's Bar
Austin's Bar
2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting (Kansas)
2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting is located in the US
2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting
2017 Olathe, Kansas shooting (the US)
Location Austins Bar and Grill
Olathe, Kansas, US
Coordinates 38°51′14″N 94°46′52″W / 38.85389°N 94.78111°W / 38.85389; -94.78111Coordinates: 38°51′14″N 94°46′52″W / 38.85389°N 94.78111°W / 38.85389; -94.78111
Date February 22, 2017 (2017-02-22)
7:15 p.m[1] (CST)
Target Indian immigrant workers
Attack type
Shooting, hate crime
Weapons Handgun[2]
Deaths 1
Non-fatal injuries
2
Assailant Adam Purinton
Motive Racial hatred

On February 22, 2017, Adam Purinton, shot two Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, whom he had mistaken for Iranians, at a restaurant in Olathe, Kansas, killing Kuchibhotla.[3] He reportedly yelled "get out of my country" and "terrorist" before firing. A third man, Ian Grillot, was wounded after he came to the two men's aid.[4][5][6] Several hours later, Purinton was arrested in Clinton, Missouri.

Incident[edit]

According to witness accounts, the incident, at Austin's Bar and Grill at Mur-Len Shops, began as patrons were watching a basketball game; a man started yelling racial slurs at the victims, asking them whether their "status was legal".[7] The man had been escorted from the premises after he was confronted by restaurant staff and other guests, but returned later with a gun and began firing.[8] He reportedly told the two targeted victims—South Indian men who work for Garmin, a technology firm—to "get out of my country" before firing. Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old white American was shot and suffered multiple bullet wounds as he came to the victims' aid.[9]

The suspect, Adam Purinton, was arrested while drinking at a restaurant bar in Clinton, Missouri, about 82 miles (132 km) away. He had attracted the barman's attention by saying he needed a place to hide because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men.[10]

The perpetrator[edit]

Adam Purinton, 51, was arrested for the killing. After fleeing the bar, he was pursued by police in the Kansas City area who also went to his home. He eluded them, but was arrested after he was said to have admitted to "killing two Middle Eastern men [sic]" at a bar to which he had fled, 82 miles from the scene of the crimes.[11] Purinton was said to have been a drinker whose alcohol consumption increased and whose behavior rapidly deteriorated after the death of his father, 18 months before the crimes. Prior to his arrest, he had recently held a series of unskilled jobs including in hardware and liquor stores and as a dishwasher in a pizza parlor. He is a United States Navy veteran, had been an air traffic controller, and previously worked in information technology.[8][12][13]

Legal proceedings[edit]

Purinton was charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.[14] He was held in the Johnson County jail, with his bond set at $2 million.[15][16] He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 50 years.[17] His preliminary hearing was initially scheduled for September 18;[18] then postponed to January 2018.[19] In November Purington waived his right to a preliminary hearing and was arraigned on one count of first degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, initially entering a not guilty plea.[20].

Purinton later pleaded guilty to the state charges of murder and attempted murder on March 6, 2018. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility for parole for the murders on May 4, 2018.[21][22]

Purinton later pleaded guilty to federal hate-crime charges, thereby avoiding a death sentence, and will be sentenced on July 2, 2018.[23]

Reactions[edit]

Sushma Swaraj, India's Foreign minister, said on Twitter that "I am shocked", and she would help the family to bring a victim's body back to Hyderabad.[16]

Garmin later issued a public statement about the incident: "We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in [the] incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow."[16]

The families of victims initially have blamed the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump, for the incident.[24][25] When asked by reporters whether "rhetoric that the President or—that generally has been out here recently could have contributed in any way", White House press secretary Sean Spicer stated, "I mean, obviously, any loss of life is tragic, but I'm not going to get into, like, that kind of—to suggest that there’s any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I’m not going to go any further than that.[26]

The incident was condemned by several American lawmakers and civil rights groups. US Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas posted a statement on Facebook about the shooting, expressing concern for the safety of other immigrants.[27] Later President Trump, who condemned the attack at the beginning of his address to a joint session of Congress said that "Recent threats ( ... ), as well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms".[28][29]

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a proclamation to honor the three victims of the shooting and declared March 16 as Indian American Appreciation day.[30][31][14]

Members of India House Houston later raised $100,000 to honor the white American who came to the aid of the victims,[32][33] He was also honored by the Asian Culture Association for heroism.[34]

The victim Kuchibhotla's widow, Sunayana Dumala, faced deportation since her visa was tied to that of her husband's H-1B temporary highly skilled worker visa status, but proceedings have been stayed.[35] In January 2018, she received an H-1B visa of her own.[1]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eligon, John; Blinder, Alan; Najar, Nida (February 24, 2017). "Hate Crime Is Feared as 2 Indian Engineers Are Shot in Kansas". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  2. ^ "Olathe shooting scanner traffic: Minute by minute, a desperate manhunt unfolds". kansascity. 
  3. ^ "Olathe, Kansas, shooting suspect 'said he killed Iranians'". BBC News. 2017-02-28. Retrieved 2017-03-12. 
  4. ^ India, Press Trust of (25 February 2017). "Indian techie shot dead by American yelling 'get out of my country'". Business Standard India. 
  5. ^ Reporter, India-West Staff. "Indian American Engineer Fatally Shot in Kansas in Alleged Hate Crime". India West. 
  6. ^ "First-degree murder charge filed in possible hate crime shooting at Olathe's Austins bar". kansascity. 
  7. ^ "Bar shooting suspect asked victims if 'status was legal' - Times of India". The Times of India. 
  8. ^ a b Kansas community tries to heal after racially motivated shooting, Toronto Star, John Hanna & John Suhr (AP), February 25, 2017. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Olathe shooting: India shocked after national killed in US". BBC News. 24 February 2017. 
  10. ^ "Witnesses: Bar Gunman Shouted 'Get Out of My Country'". Bloomberg.com. 24 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Bucher, Chris (23 February 2017). "Suspect: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. 
  12. ^ "Hyderabad techie killed in Kansas bar: FBI probes 'hate crime' angle". 24 February 2017. 
  13. ^ A Murder in Trump's America, The Atlantic, Anand Giridharadas, February 28, 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Kansas recognises March 16 as Indian-American Appreciation Day". Times of India. 
  15. ^ "Suspect in Kansas shooting appears in court - The Economic Times". The Economic Times. 
  16. ^ a b c Jha, Lalit K (24 February 2017). "US hate attack: Indian engineer shot dead, 2 critically injured in Kansas". 
  17. ^ Kalra, Dave Kaup and Aditya. "Kansas man charged with killing Indian in possible hate crime". Reuters India. 
  18. ^ Suspect in Austin’s bar shooting in Olathe gets preliminary hearing date, Kansas City Star, Matt Campbell, May 15, 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  19. ^ Rizzo, Tony (October 27, 2017). "Preliminary hearing set in alleged hate crime killing at Olathe bar". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  20. ^ Not guilty plea in alleged hate crime killing at Kansas bar - CBS News, 1 Dec 2017
  21. ^ https://m.timesofindia.com/india/kansas-shooting-us-man-who-killed-srinivas-kuchibhotla-sentenced-to-life/amp_articleshow/64036091.cms
  22. ^ https://indianexpress.com/article/world/kansas-man-gets-life-in-prison-for-killing-of-indian-immigrant-srinivas-kuchibhotla-5164163/lite/
  23. ^ Rizzo, Tony (May 21, 2018). "'Get out of my country,' he said before shooting. He pleads guilty to hate crime". The Kansas City Star. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Kansas shooting: Slain Indian's kin blames Donald Trump policies for racial attack". Firstpost. 24 February 2017. 
  25. ^ "Family of slain Indian engineer blames Trump's policies". Business Standard India. 24 February 2017. 
  26. ^ "Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 2/24/2017". whitehouse.gov. 24 February 2017. 
  27. ^ "Srinivas Kuchibhotla: US murder possible hate crime". www.aljazeera.com. 
  28. ^ George, Varghese K. (February 25, 2017). "Indian's murder not linked to Trump politics: White House". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 February 2017. 
  29. ^ "Donald Trump's Congress speech (full text)". CNN. 
  30. ^ "Survivors of Olathe bar shooting appear at Kansas Capitol with Gov. Brownback". 
  31. ^ PTI. "Kansas recognises March 16 as Indian-American Appreciation Day". 
  32. ^ "Indians in US raise $100,000 for Kansas shooting hero Ian Grillot". hindustantimes.com/. 26 March 2017. 
  33. ^ "Indian dignitaries honor Olathe bar hero Ian Grillot, surprise him with big check". kansascity. 
  34. ^ "Ian Grillot receives hero award at Asian culture event in Olathe". kansascity. 
  35. ^ Widow of Kansas shooting victim temporarily lost resident status after husband's death, The IND Post, September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 28, 2017.