Crime

Two victims of Olathe Austins shooting worked in aviation at Garmin

Two of the three victims of Wednesday’s shooting at an Olathe bar, including the man who was killed, worked on aviation systems at Garmin Ltd.

The company sent an email to employees on Thursday regarding the shooting:

“As many of you may have heard, last night, there was a triple shooting at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe. Unfortunately, two associates on our Aviation Systems Engineering team, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, were shot. We are devastated to inform you that Srinivas passed away and Alok is currently recovering in the hospital.”

Later, the company issued a public statement:

“We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night’s incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow.

Two GoFundMe pages have been set up for the Garmin workers.

One, for Kuchibhotla’s family, said “Srini was the kindest person you would meet, full of love, care and compassion for everyone. He never uttered a word of hatred, a simple gossip, or a careless comment. He was brilliant, well mannered and simply an outstanding human being.

“His wife Sunayana and his family are now faced with incredible grief and a multitude of expenses.

“We’ve set up this fund to help them with the funeral expenses and other ongoing grief/recovery support costs. This includes the very expensive process of carrying his mortal remains back to India, so his parents can say goodbye one last time to their beloved son.”

Contributors had pledged nearly $7,400 by early afternoon Thursday.

The other GoFundMe page was set up by someone who said he was not personally connected to either of the victims or their families but was upset about what appeared to be “a vicious hate crime.”

“Madasani will likely face extensive medical bills and the family of Kuchibhotla will now have to deal with the death of their beloved son, both financially and emotionally,” the message said.

“Let’s send a message that we will support those who are targeted — and stand against all who wish to spread hate — by raising funds to help the victims of this horrendous act of senseless violence.”

The man who created the page said he planned to present the funds to Garmin. Contributors had pledged more than $4,500 by early afternoon Thursday.

Witnesses who were at Austins Wednesday night said the suspect yelled “get out of my country” shortly before shooting men he allegedly thought were Middle Eastern. Both men appear to be originally from India.

The suspect, Adam Purinton of Olathe, fled on foot.

About five hours later he was having a drink at the Applebee’s at Clinton, Mo., when he told a bartender he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men.

Olathe police and the FBI planned to conduct a press conference at 4 p.m. Thursday at Olathe Police Headquarters.

Matt Campbell: 816-234-4902, @MattCampbellKC

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