A Kansas man was charged today after the fatal shooting of a Garmin engineer at a bar Wednesday night, police said.
Witness said Purinton yelled “get out of my country”
The suspect in the shooting, Adam Purinton, was drinking at the bar in Olathe, Kansas, at about 7:15PM that night, the Kansas City Star reported. A witness said he yelled “get out of my country” to two of the victims, reportedly saying the men, believed to originally be from India, were “Middle Eastern.”
At a press conference, a local prosecutor said Purinton has been charged with one count of premeditated first degree murder, and two counts of attempted premeditated first degree murder. He is awaiting extradition to Kansas from Missouri, according to officials. An FBI official said the agency is investigating with local police. It’s unclear for now if Purinton will be charged with a federal hate crime. He is under a $2 million bond.
Purinton is facing charges for first degree murder and attempted murder
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer at Garmin, was killed. Another victim injured in the shooting, Alok Madasani, also worked at Garmin. A third man, Ian Grillot, was also injured. Witnesses told the Star that Grillot was attempting to help the two other men after they were confronted. Officials said Madasani and Grillot have been treated and are in stable condition.
Law enforcement officials said they were still in the early stages of investigating the crime, and could provide few details to confirm witness reports of the incident.
Police found Purinton 80 miles away, five hours later, at a Clinton, Missouri Applebee’s. He allegedly told the bartender there about the shooting, according to the Star.
“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,” the company said in a statement to the paper. “Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow.”
“There is a fear of the other that has been exacerbated during the election.”
Adam Hamilton, a pastor in the nearby community of Leawood, told The Verge that he feels “there is a fear of the other that has been exacerbated during the election.”
He went on to note that Garmin is a huge source of pride in the area. In 2015, Garmin won approval from the Olathe City Council to expand its headquarters in hopes of doubling its 2,700 employee headcount. Hamilton said that some engineers employed at Garmin were part of the changing face of the community.
“The diversity is increasing. It’s still small but it’s growing. A small contingent in my congregation are Indian. So I want people in our church to think about what things must be like for them right now. And to let them know that we are thinking of them.”