Suspect in Kansas shooting appears in court

A US Navy veteran, who is accused of killing an Indian techie and injuring two people at a pub in Kansas, has made his first court appearance in the case that is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Adam Purinton, 51, appeared before a Johnson County District Court judge via video conference on Monday.

Purinton faces one charge of first-degree murder and two charges of attempted first-degree murder in last Wednesday's shooting at the bar in Olathe.

According to Steve Howe, Johnson County District Attorney, Purinton faces 50 years jail term on state charges.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, of the same age, was injured in the shooting by Purinton who yelled "get out of my country" before opening fire.

A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot tried to intervene and received injuries in the firing in Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas.

Michelle Durrett from the Johnson County Public Defenders Office will serve as Purinton's attorney.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined local law enforcement agencies in investigating the incident that has shocked the entire Indian-American community and several hundreds of Indians either working or studying in the US.

The FBI is helping gather evidence in the shooting because Kansas does not have a hate crime statute.

If their agents can prove that Purinton's alleged actions constitute a hate crime, he could face federal charges that could potentially carry the death penalty.

Purinton is currently being held in the Johnson County jail on a USD 2-million cash bond.

Purinton was arrested hours later at an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, about 70 miles away from Olathe. At the restaurant, he confided to the bartender that he had been involved in a shooting.

In 911 calls released by CNN affiliate KSHB, an Applebee's bartender told police that a man had admitted to shooting two "Iranian" people in Olathe and was looking for a place to hide.

Purinton was extradited back to Kansas on Friday.

Reacting to the shooting, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said that "early reports coming from Kansas are equally disturbing".

Spicer, during his press briefing, also condemned the hate crimes against the Jewish community and asserted that there is no space for violence based on religion and ethnicity. Kuchibhotla hailed from Hyderabad while Madasani hails from Warangal town in Telangana. They were working as aviation programme managers at Garmin, an electronics manufacturer.

NYT slams Trump's silence on Kansas shooting

By keeping mum on the killing of an Indian engineer in Kansas, President Donald Trump has "stoked" hate crime in America, a leading US daily has said, warning that his silence will "damage" the vitality and strength of the country.

"President Trump and his administration have not only tried to keep many immigrants and foreign visitors out of the country, they have done so by casting them as criminals, potential terrorists and trespassers, out to steal the jobs and threaten the lives of Americans," the New York Times said on Monday in its editorial 'Who Belongs in Trump's America?' "Rather than tamp down hate, the president has stoked it," it said. "He has not said anything about the Kansas shooting," the paper added.

32-year-old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was working in aviation systems for Olathe-based Garmin Ltd, died after he was shot by navy veteran Adam Purinton who, according to witnesses, yelled "get out of my country" and "terrorist" at a Kansas bar last Wednesday night before opening fire.

The NYT said while each act of hate is easily explained away as the work of a disturbed person, had these attacks been perpetrated by a Muslim or an undocumented immigrant, Trump would surely have claimed that he was right all along.

The editorial referred to the question "do we belong" posed by Srinivas Kuchibhotla's wife Sunayana Dumala after the killing of her husband.

The Trump administration has an "obligation" to convince people like Dumala that they do belong here, it said, adding that Dumala and millions of other members of minorities are "integral" to the US, which is almost entirely made up of immigrants and their descendants.

"If Trump does nothing, he will enable the perpetrators of hate crimes and he will damage the vitality and strength of the country," it said.

The editorial slammed Trump for being "shockingly slow" to condemn acts of hate perpetrated across the country following his election, saying his "denunciations of and policies" targeting Mexicans, Muslims and others have "reawakened and energized the demons of bigotry."

"... this history might not comfort marginalised groups who hear the administration's words and see what is happening in this country and wonder if it is safe to stay here, or come here," it said.

It said as hate crimes and other incidents of bias have flared up in Trump's America, Kuchibhotla's "murder" is one end of a continuum of hate and elsewhere, people have defiled or threatened violence at Jewish cemeteries and synagogues.

The NYT said Trump can learn from Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old who confronted the Kansas killer and was injured.

In a video from his hospital bed, Grillot said: "I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being. It's not about where he was from his ethnicity."

US Prez says Obama behind govt leaks, protests

US President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of being responsible for the leaks within his administration and the sizable, angry town-hall crowds Republicans have faced across the country.

Trump was asked in an interview on Fox News' "Fox and Friends" if he believed Obama was responsible for the town-hall protests against Republicans this month.

"It turns out his organisation seems to do a lot of these organising to some of the protests that these Republicans are seeing around the country against you. Do you believe President Obama is behind it and if he is, is that a violation of the so-called unsaid Presidents' code?" Trump was asked.

"No, I think he is behind it. I also think it is politics, that's the way it is," Trump said in the interview, a clip of which was released Monday night.

Trump then discussed the leaks that have disrupted his first month in office.

"You never know what's exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you're probably right or possibly right, but you never know," Trump said in another preview clip of the interview.
Next Story
Share it