PHOTO BY: US Embassy, New Delhi
US India Flags together

Two Americans emerged as heroes, keeping the bilateral people to people bonds strong



Washington, DC – The US Embassy in New Delhi strongly condemned the tragic shooting in Olathe, Kansas resulting in the death of an Indian citizen and injury to an Indian and an American. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Kuchibhotla. We share their grief, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured,” the statement read.

Chargé d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson at the US Embassy in New Delhi said in a statement, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless act. Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. The United States is a nation of immigrants and welcomes people from across the world to visit, work, study, and live. US authorities will investigate thoroughly and prosecute the case, though we recognize that justice is small consolation to families in grief.”

Expressing full faith in the US legal authorities, the embassy statement offered all the help to the Indian consular officials “to offer full support as they assist the victims.”

Consulate General of India in Houston in a tweet on Thursday (Feb 23) evening said, “Consul RD Joshi and VC H. Singh rushing to Kansas to assist shooting victim.” No more updates were given by the Indian Embassy in Washington, DC or other Government of India websites in the US.

Earlier, Adam W. Purinton, 51, allegedly shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32; Alok Madasani, 32, of Overland Park, both Indian citizens and another American bar patron, 24-year-old Ian Grillot of Grandview.

Kuchibhotla died at an area hospital, police said. Madasani and Grillot were hospitalized and were reported in stable condition, they said. Witnesses said Grillot had stepped in and tried to stop the shooter. The Linked-in accounts for Kuchibhotla and Madasani say that they were engineers working at GPS-maker Garmin and had studied in India.

A manhunt ensued. Five hours later, Purinton reportedly told a bartender at a bar in an Applebee’s in Clinton, Mo., that he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men, The Kansas City Star reported.

The bartender called police, and Purinton was arrested without incident, Assistant Clinton Police Chief Sonny Lynch said. Purinton was not armed.

“It was a tragic and senseless act of violence,” Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke was cited as saying by The Star.

After his arrest in Clinton, Purinton — a Navy veteran, IT specialist, former pilot and air traffic controller who lives in a comfortable suburban home — was booked into the Henry County Jail.

Purinton appeared before a judge in Henry County and waived his right to fight extradition. Bond was set at $2 million

Prosecutors charged Purinton with murder and attempted murder after he allegedly started shooting in a crowded suburban Kansas City bar, killing one man and injuring two others, in an attack that some witnesses said was racially motivated. Authorities, however, repeatedly declined at a news conference to say whether the shooting was a hate crime although local police said they were working with the FBI to investigate the case.

Asked if the presence of federal authorities indicated the shooting could be considered a hate crime, FBI special agent Eric Jackson said it was too early to determine.

“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.”

Bartender Garret Bohnen told the Kansas City Star that Kuchibhotla and Madasani stopped at Austins for a drink once or twice a week. “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.”

Witnesses also told the Star that Purinton yelled “get out of my country” before he opened fire.

GoFundMe pages were started to help pay expenses for all three of the victims.

Important to note while Purinton shot the two Indian citizens, two Americans stood up for them. First Grillot was shot when he intervened and then Bohnen alerted the police when Purinton confided to him.

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