Indian shot dead by American spewing hate crimes in Kansas

KANSAS, US: An engineer from Hyderabad was shot dead and another was injured on Wednesday night after a man at a bar in Kansas in US allegedly opened fire at them, yelling, “get out of my country”.

The injured techie was rushed to a hospital.

Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old Navy veteran, reportedly shot dead Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and injured Alok Madasani at around 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday. The accused has been arrested and charged with murder. Another man, 24 year old Ian Grillot, who had stepped in to try and stop the shooter was also shot but is expected to survive.

Purinton was reportedly drunk and continuously exclaimed racial slurs. When a bar staff told him to stop, he yelled “get out of my country” and opened fire. Purinton, according to a bartender in Clinton, where he was hiding, thought the two were “Middle Eastern”.

“It was a tragic and senseless act of violence,” Olathe Police chief Steven Menke said.

Mr Kuchibhotla is survived by his wife, Sunayana Dumala, who is also working in a technology company in the area. He was an aviation engineer at Olathe-based technology company Garmin. He graduated from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University with a bachelor of technology degree in electrical and electronics engineering in 2005. He did his master’s from the University of Texas El Paso.

Mr Kuchibhotla worked as a teaching assistant and research assistant at UTEP, then as a software engineer and senior systems engineer at Rockwell Collins prior to joining Garmin in January 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The Indian Embassy has sent two officials of the Indian Consulate in Houston to Kansas to help the victims’ families.

“Consul Ravindra Joshi and Vice Consul Harpal Singh rushed to Kansas to assist shooting victim,” the consulate said in a tweet. Mr Kuchibhotla and Mr Madasani worked in Garmin’s aviation systems.

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

A GoFundMe page has been created to collect enough money to be able to return his remains to India ‘so his parents can say goodbye to their beloved son.” The page has crossed its $150,000 goal, raising nearly $200,000 in 8 hours.