Kansas City shooting hero: Trump should address hate

Story highlights

  • Ian Grillot was shot during a potentially racially motivated shooting in Kansas
  • The man who shot him faces a murder charge in connection with the death of an Indian engineer

(CNN)A White House spokeswoman on Tuesday condemned last week's shooting of two Indian men in a Kansas bar, saying the incident appears to be "an act of racially motivated hatred."

The comment came after the man hailed as a hero in the wake of shooting called on President Donald Trump to address the crime in his speech to Congress Tuesday night.
"I would like to hear him address it because it is a very sensitive subject right now," Ian Grillot, 24, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day" Tuesday morning.
    Grillot was shot and injured in the attack, which the FBI now says it is investigating as a hate crime.
    "As more facts come to light and it begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred, I want to reiterate the President condemns these or any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms. They have no place in our country," said Sarah Sanders, White House spokeswoman.
    Trump is set to speak in a prime-time address Tuesday evening. He will use the speech to address a recent wave of hate crimes, including 100 bomb threats against Jewish institutions this year, an administration official told CNN.

    The shooting

    Grillot was shot Wednesday after confronting a man who was behaving in an agitated manner toward two Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, witness Jeremy Luby told CNN.
    A regular at the bar, Grillot said he approached the man and asked him to leave. Grillot said the man then asked him, "So you're going to stick up for them, and not me?"
    The suspect, identified by police as 51-year-old Adam Purinton, left the bar and drove away, according to Grillot.
    Adam W. Purinton, 51, allegedly opened fire Wednesday night at a bar in Olathe, killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, police said in a statement.
    Prosecutors said Purinton returned later and opened fire in the bar.
    Grillot said at the news conference that the man had his face covered with a scarf when he returned and "went directly towards those men" with his gun, referring to Kuchibhotla and Madasani.
    One witness reportedly heard the suspect yell, "Get out of my country" before shooting, the Kansas City Star reports, though police have not corroborated that report.
    Kuchibhotla was killed and Madasani survived. Both men were 32 years old, working as engineers at GPS-maker Garmin.
    Grillot said he counted gunshots, and when he thought the shooter was out of bullets he chased him down. "My hand was about to be on his shoulder" when he turned around and shot, Grillot said.
    The bullet went through Grillot's hand and into his chest, Dr. Justin Green of the University of Kansas hospital said. Had the bullet gone a centimeter in another direction, Green said, Grillot would have died.

    The arrest

    Purinton was arrested hours later at an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, about 70 miles away from Olathe. He faces one charge of first-degree murder and two charges of attempted first-degree murder.
    In 911 calls released by CNN affiliate KSHB, an Applebee's bartender told police that a man had admitted to shooting two "Iranian" people in Olathe and was looking for a place to hide.
    Adam Purinton appears in court via closed circuit TV on Monday from the Johnson County detention center.
    Appearing in court via video conference Monday, Purinton looked haggard and was soft-spoken. He was assigned a court-appointed attorney, and his bond remains set at $2 million. His next court date is March 9.