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Austins Bar & Grill customers react to hate crime charges in February shooting

Bouquets of flowers formed a makeshift memorial outside of Austins Bar & Grill in February in Olathe. Three people were shot, one fatally, in the bar.
Bouquets of flowers formed a makeshift memorial outside of Austins Bar & Grill in February in Olathe. Three people were shot, one fatally, in the bar. tljungblad@kcstar.com

The scene Friday evening at Austins Bar and Grill was festive as patrons prepped for their weekends.

Hours earlier, a federal grand jury indicted a man on hate crime charges for fatally shooting a man at the Olathe bar in February and injuring two others.

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that Adam W. Purinton, 52, of Olathe was indicted for allegedly targeting two of the victims “because of their actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin.”

Those two men — Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died, and Alok Madasani, who was injured — were from India and worked as engineers at Olathe-based Garmin. The third victim, Ian Grillot, was shot and wounded while attempting to aid the other men.

Purinton was previously charged by Johnson County prosecutors with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder and is being held in the Johnson County Jail on a $2 million bond.

According to court documents filed in the Johnson County case, Purinton allegedly made derogatory comments to the Indian men before they were shot.

Customers streamed in and out of the bar in droves on Friday. A sense of normalcy has returned to the establishment, said frequent customer Jeremy Herman of Olathe, who rode his bike to the bar accompanied by his wife and young child.

“We haven’t been here in (a while), but we rode back up and decided to do things over again,” Herman said.

Herman, 41, described the shooting as a terrible tragedy. He expressed relief about the hate crime indictment.

“I’m happy that they are following through (with charges),” Herman said. “The indictment is a good thing.”

Another customer, Garret Grube, of Olathe, said he wanted Puriton to face the death penalty if he is convicted.

“He deserves prison,” Grube said. “In my opinion he deserves the death penalty for what he did.”

Grube added that Friday’s crowd at Austins was good too see.

“I think the city has come together and rallied around Austins,” he said.

Toriano Porter: 816-234-4779, @torianoporter

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