White House: Trump Condemns ‘Racially Or Religiously Motivated’ Attacks

A small memorial for Srinivas Kuchibhotla is displayed outside Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kan., Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Kuchibhotla was shot and killed at the bar Wednesday, Feb. 22. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
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A White House spokesperson said Tuesday that President Donald Trump condemns “racially or religiously motivated attacks” like the triple shooting in Kansas that left one Indian man dead.

“It looked like it was racially motivated,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote in an email to TPM. “The President condemns these and any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms.”

Sanders told reporters the same thing during an off-camera gaggle earlier Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday the FBI, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office opened a hate crime investigation into the triple shooting in Olathe, Kansas.

Witnesses described the shooting as racially motivated and said that the suspect, Adam Purinton, shouted “get out of my country” before opening fire.

“He said that he shot and killed two Iranian people,” a bartender at a different location told a 911 dispatcher.

Two of the victims in the shooting, Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, were immigrants from India. The third, Ian Grillot, was a bystander and was shot in the hand and chest while intervening. Kuchibhotla died of his wounds from the shooting.

Purinton, a 51-year-old resident of Olathe, was arrested Thursday in connection with the 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.

Grillot called on Trump to address the shooting during his speech to Congress on Tuesday.

“The simple fact that nothing has been addressed about it at this time, it is saddening to see that,” he said.

The Kansas City Star editorial board on Monday also remarked on Trump’s lack of comment on the shooting, calling it “disquieting.”

“At some point, embarrassingly late begins to verge on something more disquieting,” the board wrote in an editorial. “With each passing day, Trump’s silence is even more telling.”

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