Feds Hesitant to Label Kansas Bar Shooting ‘Hate Crime’

February 27, 2017 The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assisting local law enforcement in the investigation into last Wednesday night’s shooting at a Kansas bar that killed one man and injured his friend. Witnesses say the shooter told the victims to “get out of my country” before opening fire killing one and injuring another. A woman told police the suspect told her he thought he shot two Iranians. If true, the shooting fits the definition of both a hate crime and act of domestic terrorism,
so why isn’t the shooter charged with either?

The suspected shooter, identified by police as Adam W. Purinton, 51, Olathe, Kansas, appeared in court on Monday to face one count of premeditated murder and two counts of attempted murder. A judge ordered Purinton held on a $2 million bond in the Johnson County Jail. He is due back in court on March 9 — the day one of his victims would have turned 33 years old. His wife called for Washington to do something about hate crimes.

An Applebee’s restaurant bartender in Clinton, Missouri told a 911 dispatcher that a patron said he killed “two Iranian people” just hours after a shooting 70 miles away at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Police identified the victims as Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, who died at a hospital, and 32-year-old Alok Madasani. Both men are H1B visa holders who worked as engineers with navigation device maker Garmin Ltd. A third man, 24-year-old Ian Grillot who was wounded when he tried to intervene was also taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the hand.

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 created a federal law that criminalizes willfully causing bodily injury (or attempting to do so with fire, firearm, or other dangerous weapon) when the crime is committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin of any person. The FBI defines domestic terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof in furtherance of political or social objectives.”

SEE ALSO: Homeland Security Secretary hesitant to label Dallas police attack hate crime

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