The White House finally breaks silence on Olathe.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told the news media on Monday that the initial reports on the Kansas bar shootings are “disturbing”.
“And while we’re at it, I don’t want to get ahead of the law enforcement, but I was asked the other day about the story in Kansas – the shooting in Kansas,” Spicer said. “And while the story is evolving, early reports out of Kansas are equally disturbing.”
The Trump administration’s response to the hate crime comes after four days of the gruesome incident that left an Indian national dead and two others, an Indian and an American, injured.
The 32-year-old aviation engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and his friend Alok Madasani had gone to a bar in Kansas. An intoxicated US Navy veteran, Adam W. Purinton, asked them if they were in the US legally. The bar management intervened and Purinton left only to return with a loaded gun. Purinton then fired several bullets inside the bar that left Kuchibhotla dead, and Madasani injured. Another bar patron, Ian Grillot, was injured when he tried to stop Purinton firing indiscriminately at the Indian victims.
Purinton then fled but was apprehended a few miles from the bar. He was charged with first degree and second degree murder.
Although the incident left the media buzzing and several questions were raised on the safety of immigrants in the US, the White House did not comment immediately. Several Indian American lawmakers and leaders, too, spoke about Trump’s silence on the apparent hate crime.
Indian American engineer shot dead in Olathe, Kansas, in apparent hate crime (February 23, 2017)
Who is Srinivas Kuchibhotla? (February 24, 2017)
Killer asked Kuchibhotla and Madasani what visas were they on: report (February 25, 2017)
Indian American leader calls for unanimous action against hate crime (February 28, 2017)
Olathe killing does not represent Kansas values, says Indian American Mayor Usha Reddi (February 28, 2017)
Hillary Clinton, who ran for the US Presidential elections in 2016, condemned the killing and criticized President Donald Trump for his silence on the issue.
The Democrat tweeted, “With threats & hate crimes on rise, we shouldn’t have to tell @POTUS (the president of the US) to do his part. He must step up & speak out.” Clinton then linked a news article from The Kansas City Star, titled Widow of Olathe shooting victim: ‘I need an answer’ on how U.S. stops hate crimes.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 27, 2017