Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was mistaken for Arab; a second Indian American injured.
A 32-year-old Indian American was shot dead and another wounded by a gunman in a bar in Olathe, Kansas, on Wednesday night in an apparent hate crime.
Adam W. Purinton, who also shot another bar patron, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, an electronics engineer with the Olathe-based Garmin Ltd., died at the hospital.
Alok Madasani, 32, another Garmin employee, is recovering from gun wounds. The third victim, Ian Grillot, 24, was shot after he intervened, according to a report.
The shooting occurred around 7:15 pm on Wednesday night at the city’s Austins Bar & Grill.
Olathe is the largest city in Kansas.
The Kansas City Star reported that at least one eye witness heard the man yell “get out of my country” prior to the shooting.
Purinton, 54, was arrested in Clinton, Missouri, less than 100 miles away, five hours later. According to The Star, Purinton, 54, whom the paper identified as a “Navy veteran, IT specialist, former pilot and air traffic controller,” reportedly told a Clinton bartender that “he needed a place to hide out because he had just killed two Middle Eastern men.”
According to the paper, local and federal authorities are determining “if the shooting was a bias-motivated hate crime in violation of the victims’ civil rights.”
Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of the South Asian American social justice organization, blamed the current anti-immigrant climate in the country for the violence. She tweeted:
“Violence continues: 24hrs after #anti-immigrant Exec orders, 2 #SouthAsians shot by man: ‘out of my country!’
Kuchibhotla came to the United States to do a master’s in electrical and electronics engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. He did his bachelor’s from Hyderabad’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University.
Madasani also came to the United States as a student. He is alumnus of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He did his bachelor’s from Vasavi College of Engineering in Hyderabad.
A fundraising drive on GoFundMe to help the family of Kuchibhotla has raised $211,410 by 10:35 pm EST on Thursday.