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Suspect in Kansas shooting said he 'killed Iranian people'

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Adam Purinton, 51, accused of killing an Indian software engineer, is shown in closed circuit TV in court from the Johnson County detention center as Purinton heads towards a room with his public defender, Michelle R. Durrett (L) during his initial court appearance in Olathe, Kansas, February 27, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

A white US Navy veteran arrested for shooting two technology engineers from India and another man at a restaurant in Kansas reportedly thought he had killed some "Iranian people."

The suspect, 51-year-old Adam Purinton, made his first appearance in court on Monday via video conference.

Purinton has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in last Wednesday's shooting in Olathe, which is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

According to witnesses, Purinton shouted “get out of my country” at the two Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, both 32, before he opened fire on them in Austin's Bar and Grill.

Kuchibhotla was killed and Madasani survived his injuries. A third person, 24-year-old Ian Grillot, was also wounded when he tried to intervene.

This file photo shows Srinivas Kuchibhotla (R) and his wife Sunayana Dumala 

After the attack, the suspect drove 70 miles away to Clinton, Missouri, and allegedly told an Applebee restaurant worker what he had done and that he was looking for a place to hide.

According to a recording of a 911 call, the Applebee’s employee warned police not to approach the restaurant with sirens or the man would “freak out.”

“He asked if he could stay with me and my husband, and he wouldn't tell me what he did. I kept asking him, and he said that he would tell me if I agreed to let him stay with me,” the barmaid said. “Well, I finally got him to tell me and he said, like, that he shot and killed two Iranian people in Olathe.”

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The racially-motivated shooting has raised fresh concerns about the treatment of immigrants, who have been targeted by President Donald Trump’s promises to ban travelers from seven Muslim countries and build a wall along the border with Mexico.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Friday it would be “absurd” to blame the attack on the president’s rhetoric.


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