Kansas: The deadly shooting of an Indian engineer & injuring of his co-worker last Wednesday at a bar in Kansas City is continuing investigated as a hate crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation told on Tuesday.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot, and Alok Madasani, both 32, worked as engineers at United States Company Garmin, which makes navigational devices. They both were at Austin’s Bar & Grill in Olathe, a Kansas City suburb, when the shootings happened.
Another man, Ian Grillot, was injured when he followed after the accused gunman, United States Navy veteran Adam Purinton, 51, who has been indicted in the shootings. Purinton’s attorney, Michael McCulloch, could not be communicated for comment.
“Based upon the initial investigative activity, the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is investigating this incident as a hate crime,” the FBI told in a statement.
The agency said it would go with the Olathe Police Department & state and local partners about the investigation.
The Kansas City Star newspaper stated that at least one bystander told Purinton shouted “Get out of my country” earlier opening fire.
The shooting drew international attention, and in India, some suggested on social media that an atmosphere of intolerance in the U.S. had been fuelled by President Trump’s allegations on immigration.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer told on Friday that it was ridiculous to link the killing to Donald Trump’s “America First” stance.
On Tuesday, the White House told it saw more like the shooting was meant on race.
“As more facts come to light and it begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred, we want to reiterate that the president condemns these or any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said reporters.
The Indian Embassy in Washington earlier expressed concern to the United States government over the shooting & requested a thorough investigation. Officials, there could not be communicated for comment on Tuesday.
Purinton was arrested hours after the shooting at Applebee’s restaurant in Clinton, about 80 miles south of Olathe.
According to a record of a 911 call made by a bartender at the Applebee’s, Purinton told he wanted to hide because he had killed couple Iranian men, local NBC affiliate KSHB-TV described.
On Tuesday, Grillot, 24, who is being administered at a Kansas City hospital with gunshot wounds to his hand & chest, told a news announcement that Purinton said him before the shootings that he was shocked Grillot was standing up for 2 foreigners.
Grillot said he supported escort Purinton out of the bar about a half hour earlier the shooting. “He was saying, ‘You’re going to stick up for them and not me?’” Grillot recalled. Grillot was later shot when he tried to pursue Purinton.
Many people gathered in the Indian city of Hyderabad on Tuesday for the funeral of Kuchibhotla.