A man from Olathe, Kansas has been arrested and charged with a triple shooting that took place on Wednesday, leaving one man dead and two injured. Adam Purinton was apprehended in the next county over five hours after the shooting took place. The Kansas City Star reports that just before opening fire on three men who he believed where of Middle Eastern origin, Purinton yelled, “Get out of my country!”
Before the shooting occurred, Purinton was drinking and making racist slurs according to witnesses who were in the bar. Purinton shot at Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, killing Kuchibhotla. Ian Grillot jumped up to defend the two men from the gun fire and was shot in the shoulder.
Purinton fled the county and went to an Applebee’s bar where he became increasingly intoxicated and told the bartender that he had just killed two Middle Eastern men. The bartender immediately called the police who arrested Purinton.
The racially charged murder raises several important issues plaguing American society. Islamophobia is rising and President Donald Trump frequently makes false or disingenuous remarks that justify his supporters’ racist attitudes towards people of Middle Eastern origins. Permitting guns in bars has been a contentious issue recently, since any level of intoxication does not mix well with lethal weapons.
Purinton is a Navy veteran who a neighbor says suffers from PTSD or some other mental illness. Our veterans struggle to receive the support systems and healthcare, including mental healthcare, that they need when they return home.
There is failure on all sides in this tragic incident. Hatred and bigotry have been simmering under the surface for years and now Trump has given them the legitimacy they need to resurface with a vengeance. Now, we see innocent Americans being murdered in cold blood in places as innocuous small town bars.
A GoFundMe has been set up so his remains can be taken to back India. Please consider donating: https://www.gofundme.com/srinus-familyrecovery-support