The triple shooting in Olathe last week — in which two Indian engineers were shot by a man who reportedly targeted them for looking Iranian — is being investigated as a hate crime, the FBI announced Tuesday morning.
“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 agency stated in a release. “The FBI will continue to work jointly with Olathe Police Department and our state and local partners regarding this ongoing investigation.”
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and Alok Madasani, 32, were drinking after work at Austins Bar & Grill in south Olathe last Wednesday when a man shouted insults at the two Garmin employees and was asked to leave the establishment. He returned with a gun, and allegedly shot Kuchibhotla and Madasani after shouting, “Get out of my country,” witnesses said.
Authorities on Thursday charged Adam W. Purinton, 51, with first-degree murder in Kuchibhotla’s death. He also has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
After the shooting, Purinton fled to an Applebee’s in Clinton, Mo., where he told a bartender he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two “Iranians,” according to a 911 call the bartender made to police.
Kuchibhotla died of his injuries, and Madasani and Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old bystander who was shot while trying to intervene, were injured.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, Grillot said he felt strongly that Purinton targeted Kuchibhotla and Madasani, though he did not use the words “hate crime.”
Speaking to reporters from the University of Kansas Hospital, where he is recovering, he urged people to turn away from hatred.
“Life is too short,” he said. “There is no reason for all the hate.”