A man accused of shooting in a bar in suburban Kansas City that killed one Indian national and wounded another was indicted by a federal grand jury on hate crime charges.
The Justice Department announced on Friday the indictment against Adam Purinton, 52, from Olathe, Kansas, after a shooting incident at Austin’s Bar in Olathe, Kansas on February 22. Witnesses have pointed to Purinton, a white, for yelling “get out of my country” at Indian nationals, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, both 32-year old, before Purinton started shooting.
Kuchibhotla died and Madasani was wounded. Another man, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene was also injured.
Officials in India reacted to the shooting and expressed concern about the safety of their nationals in the U.S., many of whom work in technology and other industries.
According to an affidavit released in March said Madasani shared to investigators that the gunman asked if their “status was legal” before shooting.
The indictment alleges that Purinton shot the two Indian men due to their “actual and perceived” race, color, religion and national origin. The indictment also alleges that there was premeditation and planning involved in the crime. It also alleges that there was an attempt to kill more than one person and created a great risk to others who are also inside the bar at the time of the incident. Purinton was also accused of violating federal firearms laws.
Purinton allegedly admitted the shootings to a bartender when he drove 70 miles east to an Applebee’s restaurant in Clinton, Missouri. The bartender called the police.
Purinton faces the prospect of death penalty as the Justice Department said they would determine later whether he should get the capital punishment.
The Indian nationals came to the U.S. to study and later worked as engineers at GPS-maker Garmin.
Purinton is jailed in Johnson County, Kansas, on $2 million bond on murder and attempted murder charges.