Federal prosecutors have filed a hate crime charge against 51-year-old Kansas resident Adam Purinton, according to the Department of Justice. Purinton, who is accused of shooting three people in an Olathe bar, reportedly told a local Garmin engineer to “get out of my country” before opening fire. Purinton is currently being held on first-degree murder charges filed by local prosecutors.
Garmin engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in the attack, remembered by family and co-workers as a gentle man eager to help friends. “He did not deserve a death like this,” Kuchibhotla’s wife said in the days of the attack. Kuchibhotla’s friend and fellow Garmin employee Alok Madasani was injured, as well as a third man who attempted to intervene. Early reports indicate that Purinton believed Kuchibhotla and Madasani were of Middle-Eastern descent, and yelled racial slurs in advance of the attack.
Today’s indictment accuses Purinton of committing murder “because of Kuchibhotla’s actual and perceived race, color, religion and national origin,” with additional charges for the attempted murder of Madasani and violations of federal firearm statutes. The Justice Department declined to say whether it will pursue the death penalty, although it is authorized by the hate crime statute.