Bar shooting suspect asked victims if 'status was legal'

2017-03-07 08:06
Srinivas Kuchibhotla poses with his wife Sunayana Dumala in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Kranti Shalia via AP)

Srinivas Kuchibhotla poses with his wife Sunayana Dumala in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Kranti Shalia via AP)

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Kansas City - An Indian man wounded in an apparently racially motivated shooting that killed his friend at a suburban Kansas City bar told detectives that the gunman asked if their "status was legal" before he opened fire, according to an affidavit released on Monday.

Adam Purinton, 51, is jailed in Johnson County, Kansas, on $2m bond on murder and attempted murder charges in the February 22 shooting at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas. The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed and his friend, Alok Madasani, was wounded. A third man, Ian Grillot, was shot and wounded when he intervened.

A detective wrote in the affidavit that Grillot and another person asked Purinton to leave when he confronted Kuchibhotla and Madasani in the bar.

Both men worked as engineers for GPS-device maker Garmin in Olathe.

Entered his chest

Employees eventually escorted Purinton from the bar, but he returned with a handgun about 30 minutes later, the affidavit said. Madasani told a detective that he heard people saying, "He's back and he has a gun!" and then he was shot in the leg.

Grillot told a detective that he chased Purinton because he believed he was out of ammunition, but he was wrong and Purinton shot him once. The bullet went through his hand and entered his chest.

The affidavit said Purinton, of Olathe, was a regular customer at the bar and that employees were able to identify him through card receipts. The affidavit described him as wearing a white T-shirt with military style medals on it. Purinton was a Navy veteran.

Authorities arrested him hours later in Clinton, Missouri. A bartender at the restaurant told a 911 dispatcher that the man had admitted to shooting two people, but that he described them as Iranian, according to a recording of that call.

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