American Gunman Who Killed Indian Techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla Admits to Hate Crime

Adam Purinton is looking at a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on hate crime charges.


Adam Purinton, the U.S. Navy veteran who is already serving life sentence for shooting Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla last year, has pleaded guilty to hate crime and firearm charges, PTI reported.

Purinton admitted on May 21 that he fatally shot Kuchibhotla in February 2017 after confronting him and his friend Alok Madasani at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, a suburb in Kansas City.

Purinton is facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, which the prosecution and defense are jointly requesting. The sentencing is scheduled for July 2.

“Hate crimes are acts of evil, and the Department of Justice has prioritized their zealous prosecution,” Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio was quoted as saying by the news agency.

Panuccio pointed out that Purinton had set out on a murderous rampage with a clear premeditation to kill on the basis of race, color, religion, and national origin. “It was a hate crime, and he is being brought to justice. While we cannot ameliorate the irreparable harm to the victims and their families, we hope that securing this guilty plea brings them some measure of closure. And this prosecution sends a message across the nation: hate crimes will not be tolerated,” Panuccio said.

A few weeks before the shooting, Indian technology professionals Kuchibhotla and Madasani, who was his colleague at the Garmin company, were at the Austins bar when Purinton spotted them. Purinton made a comment to another patron: “Did you see the terrorists on the patio?”

The patron corrected him, saying they were from India and were not terrorists.

Purinton approached then again on the day of the shooting — Feb. 22, 2017 — when the two friends were having an after-work drink at the Olathe bar, and confronted them.

He demanded to know where they were from and went on to poke Kuchibhotla in chest, and called him a terrorist. “Get out of my country,” he shouted at them. This was when the bar patrons, including American citizen Ian Grillot, intervened. The patrons asked Purinton to leave and he was escorted from the bar by Grillot.

Purinton then went home, changed clothes and got his 9-mm semi-automatic handgun. He came back to the bar, covered his face with a scarf to mask his identity, and fired eight shots at the two Indian men.

Kuchibhotla was hit by at least four bullets while Madasani was shot in the leg. Kuchibhotla died from injuries sustained in the attack. When Purinton attempted to flee from the site of shooting, Grillot ran after him. Purinton shot him too, injuring him on his hand and chest. He then sought shelter in another bar in Clinton, Missouri, 112 km away from Olathe, where he called a friend and said he was on the run from police because he had shot “two Iranians.” He was arrested from that bar on Feb. 23.

Purinton was charged with murder in Johnson County and with the hate crimes in federal court. He pleaded guilty in court in March to a charge of first-degree murder as well as two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding Madasani and Grillot. He was awarded life sentence by the Johnson County Judge earlier this month.

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