Kansas man charged with murder, shooting of Indian immigrants he allegedly deemed 'Middle Eastern'

Adam Purninton is accused of shooting three people, killing one
(Image credit: Henry County (Mo.) Sheriff's Office via AP)

On Thursday, prosecutors in Kansas charged Adam Purinton, 51, with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder for the shooting of three people at a crowded bar in Olathe, just outside Kansas City, on Wednesday night. A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill said Purinton used "racial slurs" before he allegedly shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and Alok Madasani, 32, both aviation engineers at a local Garmin plant and both originally from India. At least one witness told The Kansas City Star that Purinton yelled for them to "get out of my country" before he pulled out a gun and began firing.

Kuchibhotla died in the hospital; Madasani and Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old Austins regular who stepped in to stop Purinton, are in stable condition. Purinton left the bar on foot and was arrested around midnight at an Applebees in Clinton, Missouri, some 70 miles away. He told an Applebees bartender that he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men, The Star reports, and the bartender quietly called police, who arrested Purinton without incident. In court Thursday, he did not contest extradition to Kansas; bond was set at $2 million.

The FBI is working with Olathe police to determine if this was a hate crime, but Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said investigators have not yet determined a motive for the shooting. "We're less than 24 hours in," he said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. "We want to be sure of the facts versus speculation." You can learn more about the victims at The Kansas City Star, and more about the case — which is reportedly being watched very closely in India — in the ABC News report below. Peter Weber

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