In what is believed to be a hate crime an Indian software engineer was shot dead in a Kansas bar. A man reported to have shouted “go back to your country” before opening fire.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and his friend Alok Madasani, both employees at tech company Garmin, were having a drink at a bar on Thursday when Adam Purinton, 51, allegedly shouted racist slurs at the pair and started shooting. Kuchibhotla, who was an aviation systems engineer, died in the hospital. Madasani and Ian Grillot, a third man who had stepped in to defend the pair, were injured.
Purinton, a navy veteran, has been charged with murder. Eyewitnesses say he believed the victims were of Middle Eastern origin and shouted “go back to your country” before shooting. Authorities have not yet classified the attack as a hate crime.
Grillot, 24, was shot in the hand and chest as he tried to subdue Purinton.
“I got behind him and he turned around and fired a round at me,” he said, in a video from his hospital bed.
“I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being. It’s not about where he’s from, we’re all humans.
“I’m grateful to be alive,” he said. “Another half inch and I could be dead or never walk again.”
The incident has sent shockwaves through India, which provides the US with some of its most skilled and highly educated workers. Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, tweeted:
This is the first hate crime in USA in which a someone was killed after Donald Trump came to power riding on a wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric.