Indian Community In Kansas Shaken By Shooting
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
A shooting in a Kansas sports bar has left one man dead and two recovering in a local hospital from gunshot wounds. Laura Ziegler from member station KCUR reports that this incident has shaken the local South Asian community.
LAURA ZIEGLER, BYLINE: Sridhar Harohalli of the India Association of Kansas City got a call Wednesday night. His friend told him two young Indian men had been involved in a shooting at a local sports bar not far from some largely South Asian Kansas City suburbs.
SRIDHAR HAROHALLI: I was like, wow this has hit us close to home. This is home to us.
ZIEGLER: As it turned out, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32-year-old aviation engineer at tech giant Garmin was killed in that shooting. His friend, 32-year-old Alok Madasani, also a Garmin engineer, was wounded. So was 24-year-old Ian Grillot, who'd intervened to stop the shooter. A bullet pierced his hand and chest. Grillot told the Kansas City Star in an interview from his hospital bed he didn't think before he jumped at the shooter from behind an overturned table.
IAN GRILLOT: I didn't want the gentleman to potentially go after somebody else. If he did it once, what would stop him from doing it again?
ZIEGLER: Witnesses at the bar reportedly heard the shooter, identified as Adam W. Purinton, hurling racial slurs and shout at the victims to, get out of my country. At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Johnson County, Kan., District Attorney Steve Howe declined to call this a hate-crime investigation but said local authorities are working with federal officials.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
STEVE HOWE: As far as the motivation of this case, there are investigators currently going out and still interviewing people. What we want to do is we want to be able to be sure of our facts versus speculation.
ZIEGLER: Purinton is charged with one count of first-degree, premeditated murder and two counts of attempted premeditated murder. He is in custody with bond set at $2 million. For NPR News, I'm Laura Ziegler in Kansas City. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.