Witnesses say Olathe bar shooting may have racial overtones - KCTV5 News

Witnesses say Olathe bar shooting may have racial overtones

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Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, was arrested in Henry County, MO after the shooting Wednesday evening at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. (Henry County Jail) Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, was arrested in Henry County, MO after the shooting Wednesday evening at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. (Henry County Jail)

A man opened fire at a crowded Olathe bar, killing one man and wounding two others before he was arrested across state lines hours later, police said Thursday about an attack that some witnesses suggested had racial overtones.

Adam Purinton, 51, of Olathe, was arrested in Henry County, MO after the shooting Wednesday evening at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe. He waived extradition from Henry County Thursday and was expected to be returned to Kansas, said Maj. Rob Hills of the Henry County Sheriff's Office. He is being held on a $2 million bond. 

He has been charged with murder and attempted murder.

The Kansas City Star reported the suspect uttered racial slurs and yell "get out of my country" before he opened fire, citing witnesses at the shooting.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died at an area hospital and Alok R. Madasani, 32, and Ian P. Grillot, 24, were hospitalized. Witnesses said Grillot, a marine, had stepped in and tried to stop the shooter. Madasani was released from the hospital on Thursday.

Police declined to provide details about the attack. The FBI referred calls to the Olathe Police Department.

Garret Bohnen, a bartender at Austins, told the Star that Kuchibhotla and Madasani work at Garmin Ltd., and stopped at Austins for a drink once or twice a week.

"From what I understand when he was throwing racial slurs at the two gentlemen (Kuchibhotla and Madasani), Ian stood up for them," Bohnen said. "We're all proud of him."

Garmin released this statement:

"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. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow."

The shooting happened at around 7:15 p.m. while people were watching the Kansas-TCU basketball game at Austins Bar and Grill.

Police were called by 7:19 p.m. Additional medical support was requested at 7:21 p.m. Two minutes later, the third victim was found outside. 

Byt 7:24 p.m., police had the suspect's name because Purinton was a regular at Austins.

Police helicopters helped with the search before Purinton was taken into custody about 12:40 a.m. Thursday at an Applebee's about 70 miles to the southeast in Clinton, authorities said.

Assistant Clinton Police Chief Sonny Lynch said an Applebee's bartender summoned police to the bar where the man was drinking because he said he'd been involved in a shooting. Purinton was taken into custody and interviewed by detectives from Olathe.

"He mentioned he had been involved in a shooting and we went out there and picked him up," Lynch said. "There really wasn't much more to it than that. There was no racial overtone down here." "He was calm and compliant," he added.

Applebee's released the following statement: 

“We are saddened by the tragedy that took place in Olathe, KS yesterday, and commend our Applebee’s bartender for his quick response by immediately notifying authorities when hearing of a potential crime committed earlier in the evening by someone in the restaurant.”

On Thursday, Olathe police focused their efforts on a home off of Lindenwood Drive. Investigators have been out all morning waiting on a search warrant so detectives can go inside and continue their investigation.

Police say the man who lives in the home is Purinton. Neighbors say he lives alone and has been living there for almost 20 years. They say they never thought he'd be dangerous toward other people.

Family members say Purinton was an alcoholic for many years and his alcoholism got worse when his father died in October 2015.  Family also confirm to KCTV5 News that Purinton was in the Navy and were are not aware of any PTSD.

According to family, Purinton had issues with alcohol and mental health, but they don't recall him every expressing racist points of view.

Richard Morris has lived next to Purinton for 18 years.

"Always wanted to be helpful, and he tried, but he was just like a square peg in a round whole. He just could never quite fit, but I would never thought he could do something like this," Morris said.

Austins Bar and Grill is still closed. A statement from Austins on Thursday night said that they will reopen on Saturday to give "our staff and patrons the needed time to process the event."

Senator Jerry Moran released a statement in response to the shooting: 

“I am very disturbed by last night’s shooting in Olathe. I strongly condemn violence of any kind, especially if it is motivated by prejudice and xenophobia. An engineer at Garmin, Srinivas Kuchibhotla moved to Kansas for the most American of reasons: to better his life and pursue the American Dream. His death is a senseless and terrible loss. I am confident that Kansans will come together to support one another, to strengthen the bonds across our communities, and reject the kinds of lawless behavior that imperil the safety and morals of our state. Robba and I join the Olathe community in praying for Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot’s full recovery.”

Congressman Kevin Yoder also issued a statement in response to the shooting.

"What happened at Austin's Bar & Grill last night in Olathe was a senseless tragedy. Brooke and I are praying for the Kuchibhotla family as they are dealing with the shock and sadness of losing Srinivas, and for a quick recovery for Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot. We have a vibrant Indian-American community in the Third District that values family, faith, and service and I'm lucky to call many of them my friends. Diverse political and religious views are what make our community great and I know all of the Third District is mourning this loss." 

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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