CAIR wants Olathe shooting suspect to be charged with hate crime - KCTV5

CAIR wants Olathe shooting suspect to be charged with hate crime

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One of the victims, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, middle, died at a hospital. The conditions of surviving victims Alok Madasani, left, and Ian Grillot weren't immediately known. (Times of India, GoFundMe) One of the victims, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, middle, died at a hospital. The conditions of surviving victims Alok Madasani, left, and Ian Grillot weren't immediately known. (Times of India, GoFundMe)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

The Kansas chapter of a national organization is calling for state and federal hate crime charges to the pressed against the suspect in the Olathe shooting that happened on Wednesday.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking for hate crime charges to be pressed against 51-year-old Adam Purinton, the suspect in custody in connection with the shooting. He has already been booked on a preliminary charge of first-degree murder, but has not been formally charged as of 3 p.m.

On Wednesday night, a shooter at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe shot three people. One of the victims, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, died at a hospital. Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot were shot as well; their conditions are not known at the time of publication. 

Grillot’s sisters say he tried to stop the shooter and was shot in the process of doing so.

At least one witness has reported that the shooter yelled “Get out of my country!” toward the victims. Hours later, he told the bartender at Applebee’s in Clinton, Missouri that he had killed two people from the Middle East.

CAIR-Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy said, "Because of the alleged bias motive for this deadly attack, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to consider filing hate crime charges in order to send a strong message that violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated."

The FBI is investigating alongside local law enforcement, so there could be federal charges if it does become a hate crime investigation. The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.”

KCTV5 News has been communicating with a reporter from The Times of India. He is covering this story from Hyderabad, which is where he said both Indian-born victims of the shooting went to school for engineering degrees before moving to the United States.

He said the news has been upsetting, not only because of hearing about the fatal shooting, but because there is strong suspicion the shooting was a racially motivated crime. 

Just last week, another man from Hyderabad was shot and killed in California. 

Recent statistics from the FBI show the majority (60 percent) of reported single-bias hate crimes are motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry. 

If one looks at FBI statistics, hate crimes are not all that unusual in KCTV5’s viewing area.

The most recent statistics are from two years ago, when the FBI reported there were 63 hate crime incidents from reporting agencies in Kansas and 100 in Missouri during 2015. In Kansas City, Missouri alone, there were 28 hate crimes reported in 2015.

The police are not labeling this incident as a hate crime at this time.

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