Kansas Hate Crime: Man Who Shot Dead Indian Engineer Pleads Not Guilty
Adam Purinton is charged with hate crime, first-degree murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and attempted first-degree murder.
Adam Purinton, accused for hate crime that took place in Kansas in February 2017 against two Indian men and first-degree murder of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, pleaded not guilty on Dec. 1.
Purinton has been indicted on two hate crime charges in the federal court. He shot two Indians — Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani — at a bar in Olathe, resulting in the death of the 32-year-old engineer at GPS maker Garmin. He shouted “Get out of my country” and uttered racial slurs before shooting them. A white man, Ian Grillot, who tried to help the duo, was also shot.
Purinton waived off his preliminary hearing and the not guilty plea was entered on his behalf, according to Kansas City Star. His next nearing is on May 8. Federal prosecutors have said that the two Indian men were targeted for their race or ethnicity.
Purinton is also charged with first-degree murder of Kuchibhotla, and with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for wounding the other two people, in Johnson County District Court.
The incident took place at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, on Feb. 22. After the incident, Purinton fled to an Applebee’s restaurant after telling a bartender about the shooting. He was arrested 70 miles away from the spot.
“He asked if he could stay with me and my husband, and he wouldn’t tell me what he did. I kept asking him, and he said that he would tell me if I agreed to let him stay with me,” the bartender said. “Well, I finally got him to tell me and he said, like, that he shot and killed two Iranian people in Olathe.”
The incident sparked outrage and protests among the Indian American community. The community organized vigils in Olathe and throughout the country.
“One thing that I really wanted to emphasize is, the main reason why I am here is that’s what my best friend, Srinivas, would have done,” Madasani said in February 2017 during a condolence meeting. “He would have been here for me, and that’s what I’m doing right now.” He said that his friend and he frequented that bar for two years.
“What happened that night was a senseless crime and that took away my best friend,” Madasani said.