മിഡില് ഈസ്റ്റില് നിന്നുള്ളവരാണെന്നു തെറ്റിധരിച്ചാണു വെടിവച്ചതെന്നു അറസ്റ്റിലായ ആഡം പൂരിന്റണ് (51) പറഞ്ഞു.
ഒലത്തിലെ ഒരു ബാറില് വച്ചാണു ബുധനാഴ്ച വൈകിട്ട് മൂന്നു പേര്ക്ക് നേരെ അയാള് വെടി വച്ചത്. ശ്രീനിവസ്സ് കുച്ചിബൊട്ലയാണു മരിച്ചത്. സുഹ്രുത്ത് അലോക് മദസാനിക്കു വെടിയേറ്റു. ഇരുവരും ജി.പി.എസ് കമ്പനി ഗാര്മിനിലെ എഞ്ചിനിയര്മാരാണ്.
നേവിയില് സെനികനായിരുന്ന പുരിന്റണ് ഇന്നു (വ്യാഴം) രാവിലെ മിസൂറിയിലെ ഒരു ആപ്പീള്ബീയില് മദ്യപിച്ചു കൊണ്ടിരിക്കെതാന് രണ്ടു മിഡില് ഈസ്റ്റുകാരെ കൊന്നെന്നും ഒളിച്ചിരിക്കാന് ഇടം വേണമെന്നും പറഞ്ഞു. ബാര്ടെന്ഡര് വിവരം പോലീസില് അറിയിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു.
ഇന്നലെ ബാറില് വച്ച് നിരന്തരം അയാള് വര്ഗീയ അധിക്ഷേപം നടത്തുകയായിരുന്നു. ഇതിനെതിരെ ഇയാന് ഗ്രില്ലോട്ട് എന്ന മറ്റൊറ്റാള് രംഗത്തു വന്നു. അതോടേ പൂരിന്റണ് പുറത്തേക്കു പോയി തിരിച്ചു വന്ന ശേഷം ഇന്ത്യാക്കാര്ക്കു നേരെ വെടി വച്ചു. വെടിയുണ്ട തീര്ന്നു എന്ന ധാരണയില് ഗ്രില്ലോട്ട് അയാളൂടെ പുറകെ ചെന്നു. അപ്പോള് അയാള് ഗ്രില്ലോട്ടീനെയും വെടിവച്ചു. കയ്യിലും തോളിലുമാണു ഗ്രില്ലോട്ടിനു വെടിയേറ്റത്.
തങ്ങളുടെ ജീവനക്കാര്ക്കു സംഭവിച്ച ദുരന്തത്തില് ഗാര്മിന് കമ്പനി അഗാധ ദുഖം രേഖപ്പെടുത്തി. കുച്ചിബോട്ട്ലക്കു വേണ്ടിയും ഗ്രില്ലോട്ടിനു വേണ്ടിയും രണ്ട് ഗോ ഫണ്ട് മീ ധനശേഖരണം തുടങ്ങി. ഒന്നര ലക്ഷം ഡോളറാാണു ലക്ഷ്യമിട്ടതെങ്കിലും വ്യാഴാഴ്ച വൈകിട്ട് എട്ടര വരെ 161,000 ഡോളര് സമാഹരിച്ചു
HAF Condemns Missouri Hate Crime Shooting of Indian Immigrants
Washington, DC (February 23, 2017) — Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation condemned the shooting of two Indian immigrants and an American bystander in Olathe, Kansas on Wednesday, in what appears to be a hate crime.
According to media reports, a 51-year old resident of Olathe, shot Garmin engineers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, as well as bystander Ian Grillot who attempted to prevent the shooting, which occurred at a local bar. Kuchibhotla was killed in the attack, while Madasani and Grillot were injured.
Prior to the attack, the perpetrator, Adam Purinton, was yelling racial slurs and told the victims, who he reportedly mistook for being of Middle Eastern origin, to “get out of my country.”
Both Kuchibhotla and Madasani earned undergraduate degrees at Indian universities, with their graduate work done at colleges in the United States. Kuchibhotla is survived by his wife and family members in India.
The shooter was arrested early Thursday morning, after being turned in to police by a bartender in Clinton, Missouri, to whom he bragged about the shooting and said he needed a place to hide out. Purinton has since been charged with first-degree murder.
The murder of Kuchibhotla is the first reported bias-motivated fatality in the United States after the bitter Presidential election.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Srinivas Kuchibhotla,” said Jay Kansara, Director of Government Relations. “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.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help send Kuchibhotla’s remains to his native India.
“We at HAF want to thank those who put themselves at risk to stop this attack or to bring the perpetrator to justice,” Kansara added. “It is these acts of heroism in our communities that make America great.”
This tragic shooting occurs as hate crimes and acts of bigotry have risen notably in recent months. In the past week alone, a Jewish cemetery was vandalized in St Louis, Missouri, offices of Jewish civil society organizations have received bomb threats, and a man was removed from a flight between Chicago and Houston after leveling racist taunts at Pakistani and Indian passengers, to name just a few incidents.
HAF urges anyone that has been harassed, assaulted or threatened with harm on the basis of their identity (e.g., race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation), to report the incident to law enforcement immediately. Similarly, community members should report any incidents involving vandalism, hateful graffiti, desecration, arson, or violence directed towards temples or other properties.
HAF also requests help in tracking incidents of identity-based or bias-motivated intimidation, threats, harassment, and violence being experienced in our communities by filling out the Bias-Motivated Crime Data Collection Form, if they or someone they know has experienced or witnessed an incident.
A white Kansas man suspected of shooting two Indian men in an apparent hate crime said he had thought they were from the Middle East.
Adam Purinton allegedly opened fire on three people at a bar in Olathe, Kansas on Wednesday. One man was killed, while the other two were seriously injured.
Witnesses told local media that Purinton had spewed racial slurs and shouted, "Get out of my country!" before attacking the completely innocent men.
Purinton, a 51-year-old Olathe resident and Navy veteran, was arrested early Thursday morning while drinking at a bar in an Applebee's in Clinton, Missouri.
According to the bartender, Purinton told him he had needed a place to hide out after killing two "Middle Eastern" men. Upon hearing this, the bartender called the police, who took the suspected shooter into custody.
The supposed "Middle Eastern" men Purinton allegedly shot were both engineers on the aviation systems team at the technology company, Garmin.
A GoFundMe page set up for the victims identified the man who was killed as Srinivas Kuchibhotla. According to the page, which was set up by a friend of Kuchibhotla, the shooter had been drunk and was "hurling racial slurs" before the attack.
"Srini was the kindest person you would meet, full of love, care and compassion for everyone," the page reads. "He never uttered a word of hatred, a simple gossip, or a careless comment. He was brilliant, well-mannered and simply an outstanding human being. His wife, Sunayana, and his family are now faced with incredible grief and a multitude of expenses."
The other Indian man injured was identified as Alok Madasani. "We're saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night's incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved," their company said in a statement after the attack.
"Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, both employees at Garmin, were enjoying their evening at a local sports bar in Olathe, KS when they were confronted with racist, bigoted remarks and ultimately shot as part of what appears to have been a vicious hate crime," wrote another GoFundMe page for the victims.
The third victim has been identified as Ian Grillot. He was shot in the hand and shoulder. A GoFundMe page set up for him narrated the incident: "Ian found himself in the wrong place trying to be a helping hand. Ian stood up for two people being mistreated by a man who was in the wrong. Said man left and later returned to Austins Bar and Grill to open fire. Ian thought all rounds were done and tried to go after the man. This resulted in Ian being shot."
This is by no means the first time South Asians have been attacked by racists and Islamophobes who assumed they were from the Middle East.
In December, a man shot a store clerk of Indian descent in Michigan in the face. The shooter, who also appeared to be a U.S. military veteran, called the clerk a "terrorist," insisted he was a member of ISIS, and shouted that he "used to kill people like him in Iraq."
Adherents of the Sikh religion, who are not Muslim, are frequently targeted in anti-Muslim hate crimes by violent bigots who believe they are.