An Indian engineer was killed and two others injured when an American man opened fire on them after allegedly yelling “get out of my country”, with the local police calling it as a “possible hate crime”.
32 year old Srinivas Kunchubhotla working at the Garmin headquarters in Olathe, was killed in the shooting on Wednesday night, while another Indian and his colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured and is battling for life at a local hospital.
One other identified as Ian Grillot was also injured in the shooting.
The 51 year old accused, Adam Purinton, was arrested on Thursday morning, five hours after the incident.
It was a tragic and senseless act of violence,” Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke told reporters.
According to local media reports, he yelled “get out of my country” at the Indians.
Purinton, a navy veteran, later reportedly told a bartender in Clinton, Missouri, where he was hiding that he killed two Middle Eastern persons, the Kansas City Star said.
The Indian Embassy has swung into action and two senior officials of the Indian Consulate in Houston have been sent to Kansas to assist the victims’ families.
The accused has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and his bond has been set at USD 2 million.
According to Garmin, Kuchibhotla and Madasani worked in the company’s aviation systems.
“We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night’s (Wednesday night) incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counsellors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow,” Garmin said in a statement.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while expressing shock over the incident, said that the government will extend “all help and assistance to the bereaved family.”
I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
I have spoken to Indian Ambassador in US Mr.Navtej Sarna. He informed me that two Indian Embassy officials have rushed to Kansas.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
Indian Ambassador has also informed me that Alok Madasani who was injured in the incident has been discharged from the hospital.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
We will provide all help and assistance to the bereaved family.— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) February 24, 2017
Jay Kansara, director of Government Relations at Hindu American Foundation said “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla.”
“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,” he said.
Kansara said that the HAF thanks those who put themselves at risk to stop this attack or to bring the perpetrator to justice.
“It is these acts of heroism in our communities that make America great,” he said.
The alleged hate crime has sent shocked waves among Indian-American and the Indian community across the United States that is largely blaming Donald Trump for it.
How about mentioning the crazy white guy in Kansas shooting people because they were brown? Not important to you? Got it. https://t.co/gKEBJ4qDeY— Jeremy Smith (@JeremyInKC) February 24, 2017
THIS IS TRUMP’S AMERICA…..FILLED WITH HATE!! Very UnAmerican. SAD. https://t.co/pMtEPRh9fp— Joe Coelho (@JoeBenCoelho) February 24, 2017
This is the new America and I hate it.Police investigate shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe https://t.co/GKUlRuYRly— Mark Spangler (@spang99) February 24, 2017
Donald’s hate is responsible as is the killer, as is America’s hatreds. Climate of racism & hate surely contributed. https://t.co/6lqXyY66eZ— Omar Moore (@popcornreel) February 24, 2017
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise funds for sending Kuchibhotla’s remains to India.
The shooting incident comes at a time when hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably during the recent months in America.
A Jewish cemetery was vandalised in St Louis, Missouri last week and the offices of Jewish civil society organisations have received bomb threats.
A man was removed from a Chicago-Houston flight after levelling racist taunts at Pakistani and Indian passengers.
(Feature image source: gofundme,com/Reuters)