Alok Madasani, one of the victims of a triple shooting in Kansas that some witnesses described as racially motivated, said on Friday that the gunman asked him if he was in the United States illegally and what type of visa he had.
“He asked us what visa are we currently on and whether we are staying here illegally,” Madasani told the New York Times by phone.
He and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, both victims of the shooting, were immigrants from India who were educated in the United States and legally worked for Garmin in Olathe, Kansas, according to the New York Times.
“We didn’t react,” Madasani said of the remarks. “People do stupid things all the time. This guy took it to the next level.”
Madasani and Kuchibhotla were both transported to area hospitals after the shooting, where Kuchibhotla later died. Per the New York Times, Madasani was released and said he is “doing much better, but it’s not over yet.”
Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, Kansas, was arrested Thursday in connection with the shooting and charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.
He later told a bartender that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, according to a Thursday report by the Kansas City Star.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Friday that it was “absurd” to suggest any connection between President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and the shooting.
But 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?”