KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas man who yelled “Get out of my country!” before killing one Indian immigrant and wounding another in a suburban Kansas City bar pleaded guilty on May 21 to three federal hate-crime charges.
Adam Purinton, 53, of Olathe, Kansas, previously pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in state court in the February 2017 death of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla. The shooting in Olathe, Kansas, also wounded Kuchibhotla’s friend, Alok Madasani, and bar patron Ian Grillot when he tried to intervene.
The attack stirred fears that immigrants were facing more violence after the election of President Donald Trump. It also attracted attention in India, where officials publicly wondered if Indian citizens are safe in the U.S.
Purinton faced a possible death sentence for the federal charges. Under the plea, though, Purinton will be sentenced to life in prison on each of the three counts, with the sentences to run consecutively to each other and to the life term ordered earlier this month in Johnson County, Kansas, The Kansas City Star reports.
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. Madasani told detectives that Purinton asked the men, who immigrated to the U.S. as students, if their “status was legal,” according to a court affidavit.
After the shooting, Purinton drove 70 miles to Clinton, Missouri, where he confessed the shooting to a bartender at a restaurant. Court records say Purinton told the employee that he had shot two “Iranian men.”
Sentencing for the federal charges is set July 2.