White Kansas Man Spewing Racial Slurs Shoots Indians He Thought Were 'Middle Eastern'

News & Politics

A white man in Kansas suspected of shooting two Indian men in an apparent hate crime said he thought they were from the Middle East.

Adam Purinton allegedly opened fire on three people at a bar in Olathe, Kansas on Wednesday. One man was killed, while the other two were seriously injured.

Witnesses told local media that Purinton had spewed racial slurs and shouted, "Get out of my country!" before attacking the men.

Purinton, a 51-year-old Olathe resident and Navy veteran, was arrested early Thursday morning while drinking at a bar in an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri. According to the bartender, Purinton told him he needed a place to hide out after killing two "Middle Eastern" men. Upon hearing this, the bartender called the police, who took the suspected shooter into custody.

The victims of the shooting were both engineers on the aviation systems team at the technology company Garmin.

A GoFundMe page set up for the victims identified the man who was killed as Srinivas Kuchibhotla. According to the page, which was set up by a friend, the shooter had been drunk and "hurling racial slurs" before the attack.

"Srini was the kindest person you would meet, full of love, care and compassion for everyone," the page reads. "He never uttered a word of hatred, a simple gossip, or a careless comment. He was brilliant, well-mannered and simply an outstanding human being. His wife, Sunayana, and his family are now faced with incredible grief and a multitude of expenses."

The injured man was identified as Alok Madasani.

"We're saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night's incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved," the company said in a statement after the attack.

"Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, both employees at Garmin, were enjoying their evening at a local sports bar in Olathe, KS when they were confronted with racist, bigoted remarks and ultimately shot as part of what appears to have been a vicious hate crime," says another GoFundMe page for the victims.

The third victim has been identified as Ian Grillot. He was shot in the hand and shoulder. A GoFundMe page set up for him narrated the incident: "Ian found himself in the wrong place trying to be a helping hand. Ian stood up for two people being mistreated by a man who was in the wrong. Said man left and later returned to Austins Bar and Grill to open fire. Ian thought all rounds were done and tried to go after the man. This resulted in Ian being shot."

This is not the first time South Asians have been attacked by racists and Islamophobes who assumed they were from the Middle East. 

In Michigan, in December, a man shot a store clerk of Indian descent in the face. The shooter, who also appeared to be a U.S. military veteran, called the clerk a "terrorist," insisted he was a member of ISIS and shouted that he "used to kill people like him in Iraq."

Adherents of the Sikh religion, who are not Muslim, are frequently targeted in anti-Muslim hate crimes by violent bigots.

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