A Kansas shooting claimed the life of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and now the family of the slain man is blaming Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric for the slaying.
Srinivas was killed when 51-year-old Adam Purinton allegedly opened fire inside a bar in Olathe, a suburb or Kansas City, police said. Two others were injured in the attack, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Now, members of Kuchibhotla’s family say they believe Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the attack.
“This certainly shows that Trump is surely the primary reason as of now. Most of my relatives are in the U.S. from the past 20 years and they have never encountered this thing. This is first such incident in our family,” said Shastri, Srinivas’s brother (via India.com).
Witnesses said the attack appeared to be racially motivated. A bartender at Austins Bar and Grill said Purinton used “racial slurs” before opening fire in an attack that came as the bar was crowded for the Kansas vs. TCU basketball game.
Bartender Garret Bohnen told the Kansas City Star that Srinivas Kuchibhotla would come to the bar once or twice a week for a drink, but this week was the target for Purinton’s attack. Bohen said Purinton told the men “get out of my country” before shooting, the Chicago Tribune noted.
Reports indicate that Purinton was asked to leave the bar for making racial slurs, but he returned with a gun and opened fire.
The 51-year-old is also accused of shooting another Indian man, Alok Madasani, 32, as well as 24-year-old Ian Grillot, who tried to stand between the shooter and the Indian men to stop the attack. Reports indicated that Purinton thought the Indian men were Middle Eastern.
“From what I understand when he was throwing racial slurs at the two gentlemen (Kuchibhotla and Madasani), Ian (Grillot) stood up for them,” Bohnen said. “We’re all proud of him.”
Grillot later said that he heard Purinton fire several shots and tried to intervene when he believed the man had emptied his gun.
“I got up and proceeded to chase him down, try to subdue him,” Grillot said in a video posted on the Kansas City Star. “I got behind him and he turned around and fired a round at me.”
Grillot added that he wasn’t thinking about race when he stepped in to try to stop the shooting.
“It’s not about where he (victim) was from or his ethnicity,” Grillot said. “We’re all humans, so I just did what was right to do.”
The alleged Kansas shooter was captured later that night when he reportedly told an Applebees bartender that he was hiding out after killing a man.
Adam Purinton has been charged with murder and attempted murder for the Kansas shooting. Authorities have not yet said if he will face hate crime charges.
FBI special agent Eric Jackson said they were investigating whether the hate crime charges would be added.
“This was a violent crime and we want the best prosecution that relates to this because there are victims of this crime and we want the community to know that… we’re looking to make sure that the individual involved in this is held accountable for his actions,” he said (via the Chicago Tribune).
Aside from the family of the slain Indian man, others say that Donald Trump bears some responsibility for the Kansas shooting because of the anti-immigrant rhetoric the now-president has used for the past several months.
A far right US terrorist attack again slipping under the radar… I wonder if Trump will mention this one…https://t.co/Yq7oVvM0Lq
— Benevolent Fool (@benevolentfool) February 24, 2017
Will Trump talk about this hate crime in Kansas? White man says "get out of my country" before shooting Indian man. https://t.co/I2x1DERi2A
— GottaHearBothSides (@J_M_Cook) February 23, 2017
To date, President Donald Trump has not issued a statement about the Kansas shooting.
[Featured Image by Mark Makela/Getty Images]