Hyderabad: It had started as a normal but busy evening in the Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe of Kansas on Wednesday, with the sports bar’s regular patrons trooping into watch an ongoing Kansas University basketball match. However, an accurate picture of what exactly happened is still being pieced together.
As per eyewitness accounts, including staff of the bar and customers, reported in the local media, everything was seemingly normal till the gunshots rang out at 7.15 p.m..
The suspect, Adam Purinton, who used to drop in once in a while, was allegedly heard spouting racial slurs at two Indian men, and started shooting at them, which was when Ian Grillot, another regular in the bar, stood up for them and got shot as well.
How the issue started, with Purinton reportedly heard shouting “get out of my country”, is not clear, eyewitnesses say.
Srinivas Kuchibotla and his colleague-friend Alok Reddy Madasani had been in the bar barely for 30 minutes, with their office quite nearby. They would visit the bar once or twice a week, and order a Jameson whiskey, Garret Bohnen, a staff who has served them, was quoted as saying.
“We know them as the Jameson guys,” said Bohnen. “They are super nice guys. They would sit, have a cigarette, have a few drinks and pay their tab and leave.”
Bohnen said he was walking out at 6.45 p.m. when he saw Kuchibotla and Madasani walking in, and he reported seeing Grillot as well in the parking lot.
Some witnesses were quoted as seeing Purinton being asked to leave the bar, which he did, only to return soon with a gun. Everything happened in about 30 minutes, the witnesses say, with Purinton fleeing the spot after the firing.
Olathe Police said they had dispatched officers to the spot at 7.15 p.m., in response to reports of gunshots being fired.
“Upon arrival, officers located three adult males with gunshot wounds. The officers rendered aid to the victims until Johnson County Med-Act arrived and transported them to area hospitals. One of the victims later died at the hospital,” an Olathe Police release said.
At around 12.40 a.m., officers with the Clinton, Missouri Police Department, were called by a bartender in Applebee, Clinton giving information on Purinton. The officers reached the spot and took the suspect into custody, the release added.