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'Get Out of My Country' Shouts US Man Before Killing Indian; FBI Steps in

An Indian immigrant engineer was shot dead while two of his friends (one Indian) were seriously injured in a crowded Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe of Kansas in the United States on Wednesday night.

News18.com

Updated:February 24, 2017, 2:00 PM IST
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In a shocking racial attack, an Indian immigrant engineer was shot dead while two of his friends (one Indian) were seriously injured by a US Navy veteran who mistook them as 'Middle Eastern' in a crowded Austin's Bar and Grill in Olathe of Kansas in the United States on Wednesday night.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted, "I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas in which Srinivas Kuchibhotla has been killed. My heartfelt condolences to bereaved family."

Indian Consul RD Joshi and VC H. Singh rushed to Kansas to assist shooting victims.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were employees of the Aviation Systems Engineering team at Garmin, headquartered in Olathe. Garmin officials identified the fatal victim as Srinivas Kuchibhotla.

Srinivas was reportedly declared dead in a nearby hospital. Two other injured men were identified as Alok Madasani (Indian) and Ian Grillot (who tried to intervene).

A US Navy veteran Adam Purinton, 51, has been arrested from another bar in an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri. After committing crime he reportedly called up one of his friends and told him that he had just shot 'Middle Eastern' men and needed a place to hide.

ALSO READ: Kansas Shooting: Indian Victims Were Nice, We Called Them 'Jameson Guys'

The investigators while probing intercepted his calls and successfully managed to arrest him from Applebee’s bar.

ALSO READ: Sushma Swaraj Condemns Killing of Indian in US, Says 'I Am Shocked'

"After killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla he wounded his colleague Alok Madasani. He then fired at a third man, identified as Ian Grillot, who had tried to intervene," police sources said.

"The accused had an altercation with Srinivas and his friends inside the bar’s lounge around 7.15 pm which later spilled out into the parking lot. Situation worsened after he pulled out his gun and killed him and left two others seriously injured," he added.

One of the witness said Purinton shouted at Srinivas "get out of my country" and claimed he heard him screaming racial slurs before opening fire.

The accused apparently thought Srinivas and Madasani were Middle Eastern.

The incident came a week after the US government issued a sweeping set of orders that implements President Donald Trump's plan to increase immigration enforcement, placing the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation.

"The Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement. The department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws," the Department of Homeland Security had said in an enforcement memo.

ALSO READ: US Hate Incidents Rise Sharply After Trump Win: Records

"It is a very troublesome situation. It has become a big question whether we should send our children to US or not. We want our government to raise this issue in the international platform. It is unfortunate that the US government is not serious about taking care of these issues. Also, our government also has not taken any steps to stop such situations," Telangana NRI Parents Association, Dr Rajkumar.

Meanwhile, the FBI has joined local police authorities in the investigation.

"The FBI is investigating to determine if the shooting of Kuchibhotla, was a bias-motivated hate crime in violation of the victims' civil rights," Eric Jackson, special agent in charge of the FBIs Kansas City office told reporters at a news conference.

Jon Cassat, vice president of communications for Garmin, expressed condolences to the family members of Srinivas - who used to work for Garmin.

Later, the company issued a public statement: "We're saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night's incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow."

(With input from agencies)

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