Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

Kansas Man Who Killed Indian Engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla Gets Three Life Terms

Adam Purinton

American gunman Adam Purinton received three consecutive life sentences for attacking two Indian men in Kansas in 2017, resulting in the death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla. The other Indian national, Alok Madasani, and Kansas resident Ian Grillot were left injured when Purinton opened fire at them at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe on Feb. 22, 2017.

Purinton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty in May to three federal counts, including hate crime and firearm charges.

The life sentences will run consecutively to another life sentence that Purinton received in May after he pleaded guilty to a first degree murder and attempt to murder.

“The crimes at issue in this case are detestable,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement on Aug.7. “The defendant acted with clear premeditation in murdering one man, and attempting to murder a second man, simply because of their race, religion, and national origin. As a result, a promising young life has been tragically cut short, and other lives have been filled with suffering. Securing this sentence is important not only to the victims and their loved ones, but also to our justice system and our nation as a whole.”

None of the victims was present at the time of the judgement.

Kuchibhotla’s wife  Sunayana Dumala, who turned 34, on Aug. 7, said in a statement read by the prosecutor that he was kind, caring and always respectful of others.

She also had a message for Purinton:
“If you could have kept your anger inside and spoke to my husband softly, Srinu would have been more than happy to share his background and help you understand that not every brown-skinned person is suspicious or evil, but kind, smart and contributing to America,” Dumala said. “Instead you chose to rage and bully in anger and when you were stopped, you decided to take their lives.”

Purinton had earlier pleaded guilty to hate crime and firearm offenses. The 52-year-old Olathe resident admitted that Kuchibhotla and Madasani were solely targeted for their origin, and that he shot Grillot during an attempt to flee the scene of the crime.

The incident took place when Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old engineer with GPS-maker Garmin, was at the bar with his co-worker Madasani for a drink after work. Purinton started verbally assaulting them, asking their nationality, and told them, “Go back to your country.”

He was stopped by bar patrons, and escorted out of the building. Later, Purinton returned with a gun, covering his face with a scarf to hide his identity, and forcefully entered the bar, opening fire at the two Indians. Kuchibhotla received four shots and died while Madasani was left injured. Purinton then shot Grillot when he tried to stop him from running away.

Purinton was arrested from another bar on Feb.23, where he had informed the bartender that he was running away from police as he had killed “two Iranians.”

Kuchibhotla, who was from Hyderabad, moved to the United States to study engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. Later, he bought a house, got married and planned to start a family, Dumala had earlier said.