The FBI, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office opened a hate crime investigation on Tuesday into a triple shooting in Kansas that witnesses described as racially motivated. The shooting left one Indian man dead.
“Based upon the initial investigative activity, the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is investigating this incident as a hate crime,” the Kansas City division of the bureau wrote in a statement obtained by TPM.
Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, was arrested Thursday in connection with the triple shooting. He was charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree attempted murder and made his first court appearance on Monday.
Purinton allegedly shouted “get out of my country” before opening fire at a bar on Wednesday night.
“He said that he shot and killed two Iranian people,” a bartender at a different location later told a 911 dispatcher.
Two of the victims in the shooting, Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, were immigrants from India. Ian Grillot, a bystander, was shot in the hand and chest while intervening. Kuchibhotla died of his wounds from the shooting.
Madasani told the New York Times on Friday 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.”
At a vigil on Sunday, he said the shooting was the result of “rage and malice in an individual’s heart” and called it “a senseless crime that took away my best friend.”
Read the FBI statement below: