OLATHE, Kan. — The man accused in a possible hate crime shooting at an Olathe bar pleaded guilty to three counts of premeditated first-degree murder Tuesday.
With his guilty plea, Adam Purinton, 52, admits to killing an Indian national and wounding two other men in a February 2017 shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe.
Witnesses said Purinton, who is white, yelled racial slurs before he fatally shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded Alok Madasani. A third man, Ian Grillot, was injured by gunfire when he tried to intervene. Kuchibhotla and Madasani were engineers at GPS-maker Garmin.
After the guilty plea was entered in court, Sunayana Dumala, the wife of Kuchibhotla, released the following statement:
Today’s guilty verdict in the murder of my husband will not bring back my Srinu, but it will send a strong message that hate is never acceptable. We must understand and love one another. Please join me this Friday March 9 – Srinu’s birthday – to peacefully walk together in his memory. Let us continue to work for peace, understanding and love-the things Srinu stood for and will be his legacy.
“’You’re gonna stick up for them, and not me?’” Grillot recalled Purinton saying. “And that’s when I kind of knew what he was insinuating.”
That insinuation Grillot understood was about the color of Srinivas and Alok’s skin.
Purinton also faces federal hate crime charges.
He will be sentenced May 4, 2018 at 3 p.m. for the three premeditated first-degree murder charges he pleaded guilty to.
The state of Kansas does not differentiate for attempted murder in official charges, which is why Purinton faces three counts of premeditated first-degree murder, even though only one victim passed away.