Adam Purinton, 53, was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole on Tuesday. According to NBC News, he shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, an engineer from India, as well as one of Kuchibhotla’s companions. Kuchibhotla was killed, while his friend survived.
The shooting took place during a bar confrontation last year, and a bar patron who tried to intervene was also wounded.
Purinton pleaded guilty in May to three federal counts, including federal hate crime charges and firearm charges. As part of his plea, Purinton admitted to killing Kuchibhotla and wounding his companion, Alok Madasani. He also admitted to wounding Ian Gillot at the confrontation that took place at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas.
According to a report from the Justice Department, Purinton had first noticed the two Indian men a few weeks before the shooting. At the time, Purinton made a comment to another bar patron, asking, “Did you see the terrorists on the patio?”
On February 22, 2017, Purinton approached the two men, asking them where they were from and demanding to know how they got into the country. Purinton poked Kuchibhotla in the chest and called him a “terrorist.” He yelled at the two men, telling them to “Get out of my country!”
Grillot and another patron intervened and escorted Purinton out of the bar.
Purinton went home and retrieved a nine-millimeter semi-automatic pistol. He changed his shirt and used a scarf to help conceal his identity.
He returned to the bar and wrapped the scarf around his face. He entered the patio and fired eight rounds at Kuchibhotla and Madasani. Purinton ran out after the shooting and was chased by Grillot. Purinton shot him as well.
In the Justice Department report, several government officials provided statements regarding Purinton’s crime.
Kansas shooting: Adam Purinton given three life sentences for hate crime https://t.co/PmziXqAvBj
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 7, 2018
“Nothing we do can provide complete comfort and solace to the victims of this tragic crime and their families,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Mcallister. “But our office hopes that the federal life sentence which Mr. Purinton has agreed to request and accept will give them some measure of closure.”
“This type of hatred will never be tolerated,” said FBI Kansas City Special Agent in Charge Darrin Jones.
Kuchibhotla worked at Garmin as an aviation systems engineer and programs manager. His wife, Sunayana Dumala, said in her victim statement that she wished Purinton would have spoken to her husband and gotten to know him.
“Instead, you chose to rage and bully in anger and when you were stopped, you decided to take their lives,” Dumala wrote.