On Tuesday, the FBI announced that the Kansas shooting that left one Indian man dead and injured another would be investigated as a hate crime, as reported by The Washington Post. This news follows word that the suspect, Adam Purinton, was heard shouting to the Indian men, “Get out of my country.” He also reportedly bragged that he shot two “Iranians.”
Officials were reportedly hesitant to quickly charge Purinton with a hate crime without more information, but an FBI spokesperson said they have now made the decision after working with several other offices:
“Based upon the initial investigative activity, the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is investigating this incident as a hate crime. The FBI will continue to work jointly with Olathe Police Department and our state and local partners regarding this ongoing investigation.”
The categorization of the incident as a hate crime falls in line with a similar sentiment sweeping the country in regard to Jewish cemeteries being defaced. By all reports, the two Indian men, Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, were regulars at the bar where the shooting occurred. Kuchibhotla was shot and killed, while Madasani and Ian Grillot (a third man who attempted to intervene) were injured. Purinton’s first court appearance was on Monday, and he was represented by a public defender.
Almost a week after the shooting, the White House issued a statement on the shootings to call them an “act of racially motivated hatred.” Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee said Donald Trump denounced the shooting as well: “The president condemns these and any racially and religiously motivated attacks.”