KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Diya TV) — A 51-year-old man was charged Thursday in a Wednesday night shooting at a Kansas City bar that left one dead and two others wounded.
Adam Purinton was drinking at a bar in nearby Clinton, Mo., when he was arrested early Thursday, about five hours after the shooting, police said. According to a report from The Kansas City Star, charges were filed against Purinton Thursday afternoon.
The Star’s report adds Purinton allegedly told a bartender in Clinton that he had killed two Middle Eastern men. He told the bartender he needed a place to hide out, the report said. Assistant Clinton Police Chief Sonny Lynch said that a bartender called police after the man talked about being involved in a shooting.
Police said Purinton was not armed when he was arrested without incident at the bar.
At least one witness reportedly heard the suspect yell “get out of my country” shortly before shooting men he thought were Middle Eastern. Both men, engineers at Garmin, appear to be originally from India. In an email to employees, Garmin officials identified the fatal victim as employee Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Alok Madasani was injured, the email said.
“Unfortunately, two associates on our Aviation Systems Engineering team, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, were shot. We are devastated to inform you that Srinivas passed away and Alok is currently recovering in the hospital,” Garmin said in the email.
In a public statement, Garmin said, “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 and available for its associates today and tomorrow.”
In statement released, the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) condemned the hate crime shooting of Indian immigrants.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla,” said Jay Kansara, Director of Government Relations. “We are also praying for a speedy recovery for the injured. We call upon the US Department of Justice and local law enforcement to investigate this murder as what it is, a hate crime. Anything less will be an injustice to the victims and their families.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help send Kuchibhotla’s remains to his native India.
“We at HAF want to thank those who put themselves at risk to stop this attack or to bring the perpetrator to justice,” Kansara added. “It is these acts of heroism in our communities that make America great.”
This tragic shooting occurs as hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably in recent months. In the past week alone, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in St Louis, Missouri, offices of Jewish civil society organizations have received bomb threats, and a man was removed from a flight between Chicago and Houston after leveling racist taunts at Pakistani and Indian passengers, to name just a few incidents.
HAF urges anyone that has been harassed, assaulted or threatened with harm on the basis of their identity (e.g., race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation), to report the incident to law enforcement immediately. Similarly, community members should report any incidents involving vandalism, hateful graffiti, desecration, arson, or violence directed towards temples or other properties.
HAF also requests help in tracking incidents of identity-based or bias-motivated intimidation, threats, harassment, and violence being experienced in our communities by filling out the Bias-Motivated Crime Data Collection Form, if they or someone they know has experienced or witnessed an incident.
A Navy veteran, Purinton was booked into the local Henry County Jail. After the charges were filed against him, Purinton appeared before a judge in Henry County and waived his right to fight extradition. Purinton has since been charged with first-degree murder.
Information from The Kansas City Star contributed to this report.