An Indian named Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been shot dead in Kansas, United States in an alleged racial attack. Kuchibhotla was an engineer at Garmin International. His colleague Alok Madasani was injured and has been discharged from the hospital.
The gunman, identified as Adam Purinton, was heard shouting “get out of my country” and used racial slurs before he started shooting. The 51-year-old gunman was arrested on Thursday morning, five hours after the incident, and has been charged with murder. According to local media, he is a Navy veteran. Purinton thought the men were from the Middle East.
The Indian Consulate in Houston has stepped in to ensure the victims’ mortal remains are brought back and adequate facilities are provided to another Indian, Madasani, who was injured.
“Consul Mr R D Joshi is rushing from Houston to Kansas to render all possible assistance. Vice Consul, Mr Harpal Singh is also proceeding from Dallas to Kansas. They will meet the injured and facilitate in bringing the mortal remains of the deceased,” said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
He further informed that they will be in touch with the local police officials to ascertain more details of the incident and monitor follow up action.
“The deceased and the injured persons are from Hyderabad and Warangal, and have been working at Garmin in Olathe (Kansas),” Swarup informed.
“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. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site available for its associates today and tomorrow,” said a statement released by Garmin International.
Local media reports said that Purinton came back after he was asked to leave the bar for shouting racial slurs and opened fire on the people. He was reportedly taken into custody by the police at Applebee’s in Clinton, Missouri, about 82 miles southeast of Olathe.
Purinton was working as desktop support specialist for an information technology company in the Kansas City area. He was described by the witnesses at the bar as a ‘disgruntled customer’. Olathe Police said the FBI will investigate if it’s proven that the shooting was a result of a hate crime.
With inputs from ANI