Officials of the Indian Consulate General in Houston are in touch with the wife of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian engineer who was killed in a shooting incident in US’ Kansas state, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday.
“I have received a report from Mr.Anupam Ray CGI Houston,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted late Friday evening.
“Our mission staff hv met with Sunayna Kuchibhotla. Indian Government is with her in this hour of grief. We assure her of all our support,” she said.
The Minister also said that Indian Ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna was also in touch with her and was her keeping her updated.
Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani was injured when Adam W. Purinton, a white who earlier served in the US Navy, shot them at the Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas, on Wednesday night.
Purinton reportedly got into an argument with the victims and hurled racial slurs. He yelled “get out of my country”, “terrorist” before shooting them.
Purinton, according to reports, provoked them into argument asking their presence and work in his country, and how they are better than him.
To avoid unwanted scuffle, the bar management asked him to leave the place, only to find him back at the bar later with gun when he fired at the Indians.
Ian Grillot, 24, an American who tried to save the Indians, was also shot at, media reports quoted police as saying. Grillot was recovering in a hospital while Madasani was discharged.
The Hindu American Foundation (HAF) called it a hate crime.
Police said Purinton, 51, fired multiple rounds and fled the bar. He was arrested on Thursday morning in Clinton city in neighbouring Missouri state when a bartender told police that he had bragged about killing “two Middle Eastern men”, The Kansas City Star reported.
The US “strongly” condemned the shooting and said it has reached out to Indian consular officials to offer support.
The US Embassy in New Delhi expressed full faith in the US authorities investigating the matter. “We have full faith that US legal authorities will bring the case to justice,” the statement said.
Purinton has been charged with first-degree murder.
“It was a tragic and senseless act of violence,” Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke said.
Kuchibhotla hailed from Hyderabad while Madasani is from Warangal town in Telangana. They were aviation programme managers at Garmin, an electronics manufacturer.