Kansas Man Charged with Hate Crime for Shooting Indian Men

Adam Purinton was indicted on charges of killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounding Alok Madasani because of their race, color, religion and national origin.


(Reuters) – A Kansas man, accused of shouting “get out of my country” as he shot dead one Indian man and injured another at a bar, faces federal hate crime and firearms charges, the Justice Department said on Friday.

A grand jury indicted Adam Purinton, 52, on charges of killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounding Alok Madasani, both 32, because of their race, color, religion and national origin.

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Public outcry, including that of Ian Grillot, the man who tried to stop the shooter, caused President Trump to finally address the incident being investigated as a hate crime.

Purinton was also charged with a federal firearms violation in the Feb. 22 incident at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, a Kansas City suburb. The shootings also injured an American, Ian Grillot, 24, who tried to intervene.

“The indictment alleges that Purinton committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, attempted to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode, and knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene,” the Justice Department said in a news release.

An attorney for Purinton could not immediately be reached for comment. He also faces state murder and attempted murder charges.

Local media reported at the time that Purinton thought he had killed two Iranian men.

Purinton’s indictment comes amid growing concern about a wave of hateful actions across the United States aimed at Blacks, Jews, Muslims and other groups targeted by inflammatory rhetoric that gained prominence during the 2016 presidential election.

If convicted, Purinton could face capital punishment or life in prison. Justice officials said they had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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  • The separate or additional hate crime label isn’t necessary. He should fry for his crime, not for his hate. Hate is legal, murder is not.

    • Actually there’s a very good reason to consider motivation and our body of law does that in all respects (manslaughter vs. murder). Given the clear evidence of crimes driven exclusively by hate (race, ethnicity, orientation, gender, disability, religion, etc.), the category of hate crime is essential to achieving justice.

      • Disagree. Please define ‘essential to achieving justice’, or simply ‘justice’, and also please list the benchmark(s) by which we might know that justice has been properly achieved.

        • In this area of discussion, justice will be achieved when all Americans, regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, orientation, disability or religion are treated equally before the law and criminals who cannot live to that standard are punished.

          If I unintentionally run into a person and kill them as they’re crossing a street after dark – it’s manslaughter (at most). If I kill a person by running them down in my car while yelling “get out of my country” – IMO proper justice would dictate that the punishment be closer to murder 1 than manslaughter.

  • It would be great if we got away from the construct, “The person was killed because they were (fill-in-the-blank).” This unfortunately common syntax unintentionally blames the victim and subtly implies there was something about them that motivated their murder. In this case, neither the race, nor color, nor religion, nor national origin of the two murdered men CAUSED them to be killed (which is what “because” says). They were killed because of the perpetrator’s fear and hatred and, apparently, his belief that violence against immigrants of color is acceptable.

    • I disagree. In a crime like this one, the ethnicity of the victims — even though the perpetrator was too ignorant to accurately discern it — was exactly the CAUSE of their being victimized. To a hater like this perp, the victims’ perceived ethnicity equates to a moral failing or just cause to be punished. To everyone else, the fact that the victims were murdered because of their ethnicity is a reminder of the arbitrary stupidity and destructfulness of hateful actions.

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