A man has been charged with murder after allegedly opening fire in a crowded Kansas City bar on Wednesday evening, killing one Indian man for reasons that some witnesses said were racially motivated, the Associated Press reported.
The FBI has thus far declined to describe the case, which left two other people injured, as a hate crime, though they are investigating that possibility. But before Adam Purinton, 51, shot at Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, he allegedly directed some racial slurs at Kuchibhotla and his friend Alok Madasani, 32, who is also Indian, according to witnesses. Additionally, he allegedly yelled at them “get out of my country.”
Purinton was captured hours later after he told a bartender at a restaurant that he was on the run after shooting two “Middle Eastern” men.
While Kuchibhotla was killed from the shooting at the hospital, Madasani escaped with injuries, along with Ian Grillot, 24, who reportedly tried to stop the gunman from firing.
“I’ve had a lot of people call me a hero, this, that and the other,” Grillot said in a video recorded from his hospital bed. “No, it’s not like that. I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being. It’s not about where he’s from or his ethnicity. We’re all humans, so I just felt I did what was naturally right to do.”
The incident has shocked India, where people are worried about the treatment of immigrants to the United States in the wake of President Trump’s inauguration, when he pointedly made a speech calling for an “America First” policy, reported The New York Times.
The F.B.I. reported a 6 percent increase in hate crimes last year, largely fueled by an astonishing 67 percent increase in crimes against Muslims.
The president has not commented on the attack.
[Image: Henry County Sheriff]