Kansas reeled Friday as a shooting at a bar, which left one Indian engineer dead and another injured, escalated into an international incident amid fears that the attack was motivated by bias and hate.
The authorities in the United States, including agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime, and India’s government expressed shock over the episode in suburban Kansas City.
In New Delhi, the episode raised fresh alarm about the treatment of foreigners in the United States, where President Trump has made clamping down on immigration and refugees from predominantly Muslim countries a central part of his “America First” agenda.
The attack occurred around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kan., southwest of Kansas City
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At least one witness said that the gunman, identified by the authorities as Adam W. Purinton, 51, yelled “get out of my country” before opening fire, The Kansas City Star reported, and a bartender at a Clinton, Mo., restaurant where Mr. Purinton was later captured said he had heard him say that he had killed two Middle Eastern men.
A 24-year-old American man who tried to intervene after he reportedly heard the gunman utter racist slurs was shot and hospitalized.
Citing judicial ethics and the ongoing inquiry, investigators in the United States have offered no specifics about the allegations against Mr. Purinton, who was charged Thursday with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder. The federal government could ultimately try to bring civil rights charges against Mr. Purinton.
“Our role in this investigation is to work jointly with local law enforcement to determine if an individual’s civil rights were violated,” said Eric K. Jackson, the special agent in charge of the F.B.I.’s field office in Kansas City, Mo. “It’s not uncommon for hate crime investigations to be conducted jointly by the F.B.I. and local law enforcement and prosecuted under the state law.”
Jail records in Henry County, Mo., showed Mr. Purinton remained in custody there Friday morning, awaiting extradition to Kansas. Stephen M. Howe, the district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., said Mr. Purinton’s bond had been set at $2 million.
In Johnson County, at least, Mr. Purinton has had few run-ins with law enforcement. Court records show a thin history: a speeding ticket in 2008, as well as 1999 drunken-driving charge that was dismissed.Read More...
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