Fatal Bar Shooting Results in Hate Crimes Charges

Adam Purinton could face death penalty in attack on Indian tech workers
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2017 8:33 AM CDT
Alleged Shooter of 2 Indians Charged with Hate Crimes
Adam Purinton faces federal hate crimes charges along with murder.   (David Eulitt /The Kansas City Star via AP)

A Kansas man accused of shouting "get out of my country" as he opened fire on two Indian men, killing one of them, will face federal hate crimes charges along with murder, the Washington Post reports. A federal grand jury on Friday indicted Adam W. Purinton, 51, on two counts of hate crimes and a firearms charge in connection with the February attack in a bar in Olathe. Purinton allegedly shouted racial slurs when he shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, who later died, and Alok Madasani, 32, both of whom worked for the tech firm Garmin. A third man who stepped in was wounded. Local authorities charged Purington with first-degree murder and other charges, but federal prosecutors were under pressure to act at a time when President Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric was being blamed for sparking violence, the New York Times reports.

Local media reported Purinton thought he had shot two Iranians. Justice Department officials said they had not decided whether to seek the death penalty for Purinton or life in prison, per Reuters. Kuchibhotla's widow, Sunayana Dumala, tells the Times that although the indictment was "a reminder to me that Srinivas is not here with us … the federal charges will give us national visibility to help spread the message of reducing hate crimes." Effects of the attack reverberated far beyond Kansas, with the father of one of the injured men in India warning parents there "not to send their children" to the US, per the Post. (The White House condemned the attack six days later.)

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