Alok Madasani, one of the victims of a triple shooting in Kansas that witnesses described as racially motivated, said Sunday that the shooting was “an isolated incident” as a result of “rage and malice in an individual’s heart.”
“What happened that night was a senseless crime that took away my best friend,” Madasani said on Sunday at a vigil for victims of the triple shooting in Olathe, Kansas. “I wish it was a dream.”
He said the shooting was an “isolated incident that doesn’t reflect the true sprit of Kansas, the Midwest and the United States.”
“It was rage and malice in an individual’s heart that killed my friend,” Madasani said. “The United States of America, for us, has been more about selfless people, hardworking people.”
He said the shooting “was something we all wish didn’t happen, but it happened.”
“We are to ask all of you for tolerance of our diversity and respect for humanity,” Madasani concluded. “I hope I’m not asking too much, because that’s what my friend would have wanted.”
In an interview with the New York Times on Friday, Madasani said that the gunman asked him and Kuchibhotla if they were living in the United States illegally.
“He asked us what visa are we currently on and whether we are staying here illegally,” Madasani said. “We didn’t react.”
He and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, both victims of the shooting, were immigrants from India who legally worked for Garmin in Olathe.
Madasani and Kuchibhotla were both transported to area hospitals after the shooting, where Kuchibhotla later died. Madasani was released and walked to the podium on crutches, according to the Kansas City Star.
Purinton allegedly shouted “get out of my country” before opening fire at a bar on Wednesday night.
He later told a bartender at a different location that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, according to a recorded 911 call quoted by the Kansas City Star.
“He said he shot and killed two Iranian people,” the bartender said, as quoted in the report.
Sunayana Dumala, Kuchibhotla’s widow, said on Friday that she needs “an answer from the government” about how it plans to stop violence.
“I have a question in my mind: Do we belong?” she said at a news conference. “What are they going to do to stop this hate crime?”