“Get out of my county” an hate filled supporter of Donald Trump yelled before shooting two men from India, one of whom would later die of his injuries. This is the sad and new reality of living in the United States of America. This is what Donald Trump and his Klan call “Making America great again”.
The 51 year old, Adam W. Purinton, also shot a third man who tried to intervene.
Authorities would not classify the shooting as a hate crime, but federal law enforcement officials said they are investigating with local police to determine if it was “bias motivated.”
Witnesses said that Purinton was thought to have been kicked out of the bar Wednesday night before the shooting took place. “He seemed kind of distraught,” Garret Bohnen, a regular at Austin’s who was there that night, told The Washington Post in an interview. “He started drinking pretty fast.”
He reportedly came back into the bar and hurled racial slurs at the two Indian men, including comments that suggested he thought they were of Middle Eastern descent.
Just after midnight Thursday, Purinton, a Navy veteran, IT specialist, and former pilot and air traffic controller, was taken into custody about 70 miles away in Clinton, Mo., authorities told the Associated Press.
Assistant Clinton Police Chief Sonny Lynch said an Applebee’s bartender called police because Purinton told him he had been involved in a shooting, according to the Associated Press. He appeared before a judge in Henry County, Mo., and waived his right to fight extradition. His bond was set at $2 million, and authorities said they hope to have him back in custody in Kansas soon. He has not filed a plea and no attorney for him could be located.
In a news conference Thursday, officials declined to go into detail regarding the shooting and could not speak to whether it might be considered a hate crime. Olathe Police Chief Steven Menke said local and federal law enforcement “will continue to investigate any and all aspects of this horrific crime.”
Meanwhile, the Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations called Thursday for state and federal hate crime charges to be brought against Purinton “in order to send a strong message that violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated,” CAIR-Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy said in a statement. Elbayoumy added that two Kansas men were sentenced Wednesday for their roles in an unrelated hate attack on three Somali Muslims in that state.