It’s not his country

Thursday night in Olathe, Kansas a guy in a bar shot three men, killing one of them.

According to witness accounts, the gunman reportedly told two of the people who were shot — both Indian men who work for Garmin, the technology firm — to “get out of my country” before opening fire and had also used racial slurs during the Wednesday evening shooting.

Multiple law enforcement agents launched an investigation into the deadly shooting inside Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe, a city about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City. Even as authorities said they had not yet identified a motive for the attack, relatives of the Indian men said they feared the shooting was connected to a climate of fear and xenophobia in America.

The father of one of the people injured pointed to the election of President Trump, who has routinely described a threat posed to Americans from people outside the country’s borders, and pleaded with parents in India “not to send their children to the United States.”

The White House responded by calling the link to Trump’s rhetoric absurd, according to Reuters.

Of course it’s not absurd. It’s callous and flippant of the White House to dismiss it that way. Racist and xenophobic rhetoric does lead to violence against foreigners and despised races. Trump’s rhetoric is vicious and loathsome, and there is no reason on earth it would not motivate some people to violence. There were outbreaks of violence at some of his campaign rallies.

Police identified the suspected attacker in Olathe as Adam W. Purinton, 51, and said he was taken into custody in Missouri a little more than a day after the shooting.

One of the Indian men shot during the attack — Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32 — died in the hospital later from his wounds, the Olathe police said. The other — Alok Madasani, 32, of Overland Park, Kan. — was released from the hospital Thursday.

The shooting also injured 24-year-old Ian Grillot, another patron at Austin’s, who apparently tried to intervene.

Witnesses told the Kansas City Starand The Washington Post 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 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. When he started firing shots, Grillot, a regular at the bar whom Bohnen called “everyone’s friend,” moved to get involved.

Has the White House issued any statement on the shootings? Not that I can find. The callous dismissal came from Sean Spicer. The callous silence comes from Trump.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla:



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