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Kansas shooting suspect Adam Purinton appears in US court, faces 50-year jail term on state charges

Adam Purinton Faces One Charge Of First-degree Murder And Two Charges Of Attempted First-degree Murder In Last Wednesday's Shooting At The Bar In Olathe.

PTI | Updated on: 28 Feb 2017, 04:23:34 PM
Adam Purinton, the suspect in the Kansas shooting incident, is seen in a CCTV footage of a court from the Johnson County detention center. (Getty Images)

Houston:

A US Navy veteran, who is accused of killing an Indian techie and injuring two people at a pub in Kansas, has made his first court appearance in the case that is being investigated as a possible hate crime. 

Adam Purinton, 51, appeared before a Johnson County District Court judge via video conference on Monday.

Purinton faces one charge of first-degree murder and two charges of attempted first-degree murder in last Wednesday's shooting at the bar in Olathe.

According to Steve Howe, Johnson County district attorney, Purinton faces 50 years jail term on state charges.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, of the same age, was injured in the shooting by Purinton who yelled "get out of my country" before opening fire.

A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot tried to intervene and received injuries in the firing in Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas.

Michelle Durrett from the Johnson County Public Defenders Office will serve as Purinton's attorney.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined local law enforcement agencies in investigating the incident that has shocked the entire Indian-American community and several hundreds of Indians either working or studying in the US.

The FBI is helping gather evidence in the shooting because Kansas does not have a hate crime statute. If their agents can prove that Purinton's alleged actions constitute a hate crime, he could face federal charges that could potentially carry the death penalty.

Purinton is currently being held in the Johnson County jail on a 2-million dollar cash bond.

Purinton was arrested hours later at an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, about 70 miles away from Olathe.

At the restaurant, he confided to the bartender that he had been involved in a shooting.

In 911 calls released by CNN affiliate KSHB, an Applebee's bartender told police that a man had admitted to shooting two "Iranian" people in Olathe and was looking for a place to hide. Purinton was extradited back to Kansas on Friday.

Reacting to the shooting, White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said that "early reports coming from Kansas are equally disturbing".

Spicer, during his press briefing, also condemned the hate crimes against the Jewish community and asserted that there is no space for violence based on religion and ethnicity.

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First Published : 28 Feb 2017, 04:15:00 PM

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