‘Get Out Of My Country!’ Trump Supporter Yelled Before Shooting 2 Men From India — Police
Authorities in Kansas filed first-degree murder charges against a man accused of shooting two men from India, killing one, injuring two other people and causing fears about bigotry to reverberate across the globe. Federal authorities are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.
The gunman, a self-described Trump supporter, told two of the people who were shot — both Indian men who work for Garmin, the technology firm — to “get out of my country” before opening fire and had also used racial slurs as they fell to the grown, according to witness accounts, the Washington Post reported.
The incident took place inside Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, a city about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City.
Even as authorities said they had not yet identified a motive for the attack, they fear the shooting was connected to a climate of fear and xenophobia in America.
The father of one of the people injured pointed to the election of President Trump, who has routinely described a threat posed to Americans from people outside the country’s borders, and pleaded with parents in India “not to send their children to the United States.”
Police identified the suspected attacker in Olathe as Adam W. Purinton, 51, and said he was taken into custody in Missouri a little more than a day after the shooting.
One of the Indian men shot during the attack — Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 — died in the hospital later from his wounds, the Olathe police said. The other — Alok Madasani, 32, of Overland Park, Kan. — was released from the hospital Thursday.
The shooting also injured 24-year-old Ian Grillot, another patron at Austin’s, who apparently tried to intervene.
Witnesses told The Washington Post that Purinton was thought to have been kicked out of the bar Wednesday night before the shooting took place.
He then came back into the bar and hurled racial slurs at the two Indian men, including comments that suggested he thought they were of Middle Eastern descent. When he started firing shots, Grillot, a regular at the bar whom Bohnen called “everyone’s friend,” moved to get involved.
Authorities have shied away from releasing many details about the attack, but said saying they are investigating it to see if it was spurred by hate.
Family members of the two men said in interviews that they feared the current atmosphere in the United States.
Jaganmohan Reddy, the father of one of the victims, told The Washington Post that he has recently begun to asking his son to return home, fearing that he might not be safe in the country’s racially charged atmosphere, with ugly incidents and hate groups on the rise.
“The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the U.S. president. I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the United States in the present circumstances,” Reddy said.
Bridget Patton, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Kansas, said Friday that the bureau was continuing to work with local police to investigate and “determine if there were any civil rights violations.”
In a statement Friday, Garmin said the company, which has an office in Olathe, was grieving over the incident and working to support the families of its employees.
“We’re devastated by the senseless tragedy that took the life of one of our associates and friends, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and injured another, Alok Madasani,” the statement said.
Welcome to Trump’s America.