Washington: Adam Purinton, the man accused of killing Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla and injuring two others at a suburban Kansas City bar, has been indicted on federal hate crime and firearms charges.
The Friday’s indictment by a federal grand jury against Purinton, 51, of Olathe, Kansas, comes after a February 22 shooting at a city bar.
The indictment announced by the Department of Justice has accused Purinton of shooting and killing Kuchibhotla, and attempting to kill Alok Madasani, also an Indian national, because of their actual and perceived race, colour, religion and national origin.
Witnesses said Purinton yelled at the two Indian men to “get out of my country” before pulling the trigger in the attack.
Ian Grillot, a 24-year-old American man was also injured while intervening in the shooting.
The announcement in this regard was made by the Acting Assistant Attorney General Thomas E Wheeler, II, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and United States Attorney Thomas E Beall of the District of Kansas.
Puritan faces a maximum penalty of death or life in prison. The Justice Department will determine at a later date whether, in this particular case, it will seek the death penalty, a media release said.
A third count in the indictment charges Purinton with violating a federal firearms statute by discharging a firearm at Kuchibhotla, Madasani, and Grillot, during the violence.
It alleges that Purinton committed the offences after substantial planning and premeditation, attempted to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode, and knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene.
Purinton, a US Navy veteran, is currently being held in the Johnson County jail on a USD two million cash bond on murder and attempted murder charges.