Adam Purinton, the man who killed two bar patrons (one of whom was an Indian citizen), was sentenced to three life sentences today. Purinton pled guilty to state penal charges as well as to purported violations of federal hate crime statutes. The 53-year old man targeted the Indian men in the bar because he believed they were Iranian. He had already been sentenced to fifty years in jail without parole on a different murder.
The Kansas City Star reports that he asked them where they were from and then told them to “get out of his country,” before both customers and staff escorted him off the premises. Shortly afterward, Purinton returned with a firearm, getting off multiple shots at the coworkers Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani.
Ian Grillot, a bar patron who had intervened in the earlier incident with Purinton, chased him as he attempted to leave. Purinton turned and shot Grillot before exiting. Kuchibhotla was killed, while Madasani and Grillot were wounded but survived.
The attack drew emotional responses from the Indian-American community, whose collective sensibility was shocked by the reprehensible and cold-blooded gunning, according to BBC News.
Kansas City Star correspondents indicated that Purinton agreed to a deal in which federal prosecution would not pursue a death sentence in exchange for a guilty plea in the pretrial process; the courts proceeded to mete out three life sentences to the accused.
The vile attack, one of many in a surge of violence towards immigrants since the election of Donald Trump, added to fears about a more unsafe United States, according to a press release from The New York Post, and did little to assuage already-great concern in India about NRIs abroad.