US hate attack: Indian engineer shot dead, 2 critically injured in Kansas3 min read . Updated: 24 Feb 2017, 12:33 PM IST
Indian Embassy swung into action, 2 senior officials of the Indian Consulate in Houston sent to Kansas to assist the victims' families after hate attack
Washington/New Delhi: An Indian engineer was killed and two others injured when an American man opened fire on them after allegedly yelling “get out of my country", with the local police calling it as a “possible hate crime".
Srinivas Kunchubhotla, 32, working at the Garmin headquarters in Olathe, was killed in the shooting on Wednesday night, while another Indian and his colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured and is battling for life at a local hospital. One other identified as Ian Grillot was also injured in the shooting.
The accused, Adam Purinton, 51, was arrested on Thursday morning, five hours after the incident.
“It was a tragic and senseless act of violence," Olathe Police chief Steven Menke told reporters.
According to local media reports, he yelled “get out of my country" at the Indians.
Purinton, a navy veteran, later reportedly told a bartender in Clinton, Missouri, where he was hiding that he killed two Middle Eastern persons, the Kansas City Star said.
The Indian Embassy has swung into action and two senior officials of the Indian Consulate in Houston have been sent to Kansas to assist the victims’ families.
Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj in two twitter posts expressed shock at the shooting in the US. She also said she had spoken to the Indian ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna.
Indian Ambassador has also informed me that Alok Madasani who was injured in the incident has been discharged from the hospital."
“I have spoken to the father and Mr.K.K.Shastri brother of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Hyderabad and conveyed my condolences to the family."
“I have assured all help and assistance to the family."
Indian foreign ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said Indian consul general in Houston R. D Joshi is was being despatched to Kansas “to render all possible assistance. Vice Consul, Harpal Singh is also proceeding from Dallas to Kansas. They will meet the injured and facilitate in bringing the mortal remains of the deceased and will be in touch with local police officials to ascertain more details of the incident and monitor follow up action. They will also meet the community members in Kansas."
US Embassy in New Delhi condemned the tragic shooting in Olathe, Kansas.
Chargé d’Affaires MaryKay Carlson said, “We are deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless act. Our deepest sympathies are with the victims and their families. The United States is a nation of immigrants and welcomes people from across the world to visit, work, study, and live. US authorities will investigate thoroughly and prosecute the case, though we recognize that justice is small consolation to families in grief."
The accused has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and his bond has been set at $2 million.
According to Garmin, Kuchibhotla and Madasani worked in the company’s aviation systems.
“We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night’s (Wednesday night) incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counsellors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow," Garmin said in a statement.
The alleged hate crime has sent shocked waves among Indian-American and the Indian community across the United States.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla," said Jay Kansara, director of Government Relations at Hindu American Foundation.
“We are also praying for a speedy recovery for the injured. We call upon the US Department of Justice and local law enforcement to investigate this murder as what it is, a hate crime. “Anything less will be an injustice to the victims and their families," he said.
Kansara said that the HAF thanks those who put themselves at risk to stop this attack or to bring the perpetrator to justice. “It is these acts of heroism in our communities that make America great," he said.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up to help raise funds for sending Kuchibhotla’s remains to India. The shooting incident comes at a time when hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably during the recent months in America.
A Jewish cemetery was vandalised in St Louis, Missouri last week and the offices of Jewish civil society organisations have received bomb threats. A man was removed from a Chicago-Houston flight after levelling racist taunts at Pakistani and Indian passengers. PTI