Indian Community Reaches Out To Families Of Shooting Victims At Olathe Bar

Feb 23, 2017

Adam W. Purinton, 51, is in custody in Johnson County.
Credit Johnson County Sheriff's Office

Last updated Friday, 1 p.m. 

Members of the Indian community in Johnson County, Kansas, have reached out to the family of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, two of the victims in Wednesday night’s shooting at an Olathe bar, according to an official with the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center of Kansas City.

Kuchibhotla died of his injuries. Madasani and another man, identified as Ian Grillot, are recovering from their injuries.  

A spokesman for the University of Kansas hospital says the three men were brought to the hospital about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night. He said privacy concerns prohibited him from releasing any further information on the status of the other two victims on Thursday at noon.

Adam W. Purinton, 51, currently is being held at the Henry County Jail on charges of first-degree murder.

Purinton allegedly opened fire at Austins Bar & Grill, 2103 E. 151st St. in Olathe, around 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night. The suspect then fled to Clinton, Missouri, where he was arrested at an Applebee's restaurant.

The Kansas City Star reports that the suspect told a bartender at Applebee's that he’d "killed two Middle Eastern men."

Kuchibhotla and Madasani were both employees of Olathe-based Garmin Ltd. In an email to employees, quoted by The Kansas City Star, the company confirmed two associates on the Aviation Systems Engineering team had been shot, and confirmed the identity of the two victims.

In a public statement, the company said it was saddened by the incident. "We express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow."

Grillot, the other man involved in the shooting, tried to stop the suspect and was shot in the arm and hand. He remains at University of Kansas hospital recovering from his injuries.

Olathe Police Chief Steve Menke, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric Jackson and Tom Beall of the U.S. District Attorney's office of Kansas wait to talk to reporters.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89-3

At a press conference Thursday afternoon, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Purinton was being charged with one count of pre-meditated first- degree murder as well as two counts of attempted pre-meditated murder.  

As of late Thursday, the suspect was still in the custody of Henry County, Missouri authorities, waiting extradition to Johnson County.

Purinton is being held on a $2 million bond.

In an interview after the press conference at a local coffee shop, Vijay Ainapurapu, a software engineer and past president of the India Association of Kansas City, said he went to The University of Kansas Hospital about 2 a.m. Thursday morning to visit with Madasani.

Vijay Ainapurapu is with the India Association of Kansas City. He says he's been 19 years and has always felt welcome.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89-3

Ainapurapu says the shooting victim was tired, but alert. They talked for just a few minutes. He was not sure whether Madasani knew his friend had died in the shooting.

An official at the University of Kansas hospital has confirmed that Alok Madasani has been released.  

Also developing on the story:

  • Sridhar Harohalli with the India Association of Kansas City confirmed the Indian Consul flew up from Houston, Texas Thursday night to visit with families of the victims. Harohaalli said he was with Mr. Anupam Ray while he visited with Madasani. 
  • Vigils are planned Friday evening at the First Baptist Church of Olathe across from Austin's Bar and Grill 
  • The Hindu Temple and Cultural Center also has a vigil planned on Sunday.

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. You can reach her on Twitter @laurazig or email Lauraz@kcur.org.