Man who shot 2 Indian men in Kansas bar to be sentenced

Srinivas Kuchibhotla,Kansas Shooting,Indians in US

Srinivas Kuchibhotla,Kansas Shooting,Indians in US

A Kansas man who opened fire on a suburban Kansas City bar, killing an immigrant from India and wounding two other men, has been sentenced to three consecutive life prison sentences for what federal prosecutors said was a hate crime.

Adam Purinton of Olathe shot and killed Kuchibhotla, and wounded two others Indian national Alok Madasani and Kansas resident Ian Grillot at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas, in February 2017.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty to three federal hate-crime charges, which alleged he targeted the men "because of their race, color and national origin", according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Witnesses said Purinton, who is white, was asked to leave the bar after uttering racial slurs at Kuchibhotla and Madasani, who were working as engineers at GPS-maker Garmin at the time. His sentence on Tuesday will run consecutively to another life sentence he previously received for first-degree murder in Johnson County District Court in Kansas.

"We hope today's sentencing brings some closure for the victims and their families", Stephen McAllister, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas said Tuesday in a written statement.

'The defendant acted with clear premeditation in murdering one man, and attempting to murder a second man, simply due to their race, religion, and national origin, ' according to the statement. "As a result, a promising young life has been tragically cut short, and other lives have been filled with suffering".

Sessions said in the statement that while the "irreparable harm" that Purinton has done can not be undone, "some measure of justice for the victims' families has been achieved".

"If you could have kept your anger inside and spoke to my husband softly, Srinu would have been more than happy to share his background and help you understand that not every brown skinned person is suspicious or evil, but kind, smart and contributing to America", she continued.

"My husband was more than what you chose to address him as". Always kind, caring, and respectful to others. "Srinu and I came to the United States of America full of dreams and aspirations.Now, my American Dream - and that of Srinu's - is broken", Sunayana Dumala said in the statement read out in court today as Purinton was sentenced, calling her husband by his informal name. "Instead you chose to rage and bully in anger and when you were stopped, you made a decision to take their lives".

"Not giving you a death penalty was our choice because we believed the punishment for this hateful act should not be a life for life", Dumala's letter states.

The killing of Kuchibhotla had shaken the Indian community and led to heightened fear and anxiety among the South Asian population in general and the Indian community in particular, about their safety. It highlights the positive contributions of immigrants to America.

After the shooting, Purinton drove 70 miles to Clinton, Missouri, where he confessed the shooting to a bartender at a restaurant.

Adam Purinton is seen in court in May.

Purinton, a Navy veteran, was a regular customer at Austin's. He approached Kuchibhotla and Madasani, and demanded to know where they were from and how they entered the country.

Purinton reportedly yelled "Get out of my country" at them. Later, he returned to the bar.

He unleashed several rounds, striking both Kuchibhotla and Madasani.

"The defendant acted with clear premeditation in murdering one man, and attempting to murder a second man, simply due to their race, religion, and national origin", according to the statement. Grillot, who hid under a table during the shooting, confronted the gunman once he thought Purinton had run out of ammunition.

Purinton also shot another man, Ian Grillot, who chased him as he fled the scene.

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