A man is behind bars after fatally shooting an Indian American engineer and injuring two others at a bar in Olathe, Kan., Feb. 22, in an alleged hate crime.
Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old Navy veteran, allegedly shot and killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and injured Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot.
Following the shooting, at roughly 7:15 p.m., Purinton fled the scene and was arrested some 80 miles away at an Applebee’s in Clinton, Mo., in the early hours of Feb. 23, according to a Kansas City Star report.
According to the report citing witnesses at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, Purinton had been drinking hard, and continually exclaimed racial slurs.
When a bar regular told him to stop, the man yelled “get out of my country” before he started shooting, the Star reported.
At the Applebee’s in Missouri, Purinton allegedly told a bartender he had killed two men whom he referred to as “Middle Eastern,” it added.
Kuchibhotla was an aviation engineer at Olathe-based technology company Garmin. Originally from Hyderabad, he graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University with a bachelor of technology degree in electrical and electronics engineering in 2005. He later earned his master’s degree in the same field from the University of Texas El Paso.
Following his graduation, Kuchibhotla worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant at UTEP, then as a software engineer and senior systems engineer at Rockwell Collins prior to joining Garmin in January 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.
A GoFundMe page (found here: http://bit.ly/2mqixVZ) to help Kuchibhotla’s family was set up shortly after the incident. As of 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23, it had raised $75,010 with a goal of reaching $100,000.
Madasani, a co-worker of Kuchibhotla’s at Garmin, was wounded in the shooting. He was still hospitalized at the time of press.
Madasani graduated from Vasavi College of Engineering in India before moving to the U.S. to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Like Kuchibhotla, Madasani worked for several years at Rockwell Collins before joining Garmin in July 2014.
A friend of both Kuchibhotla and Madasani told the New York Daily News that the two victims, both Hindus from Hyderabad, were good friends.
Garmin spokeswoman Carly Hysell said in a New York Daily News report that the company is not publicly identifying the employees, but that the second worker is no longer in critical condition.
“We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in (the Feb. 22) incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved,” she said in a statement.
The alleged shooter was in court Feb. 23 and waived extradition so he could be taken back to Kansas.