An Indian man was killed and another wounded in a shooting being investigated by US authorities in the midwestern state of Kansas as a possible hate crime.
The two men, one of whom reportedly had lived in the US for more than a decade, were shot were at a bar outside Kansas City late Wednesday, according to The Kansas City Star newspaper, AFP quoted.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, 32, was wounded in the attack. Both men worked as aviation systems engineers for GPS manufacturer Garmin.
Authorities arrested 51-year-old Adam Purinton, who allegedly told the men “get out of my country” before opening fire, according to the daily.
Purinton was apprehended late Wednesday at a restaurant, after claiming he had killed two Middle Easterners, according to the Star.
Purinton has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder. He is being held on $2 million bond.
The FBI is trying to determine if the shooting was a hate crime, said Eric Johnson, Special Agent in Charge of the bureau’s Kansas City field office.
“We’re less than 24 hours into this investigation. I have FBI personnel working this investigation from every angle,” he said.
The shooting garnered headlines in Indian media, amid concerns that the immigration policies of President Donald Trump laid the groundwork for such an attack.
The incident comes amid a tense atmosphere in the United States, as evidence grows of increased hate crimes since the contentious presidential campaign and the election of Donald Trump.
The number of hate groups rose for the second year in a row in 2016 and anti-Muslim groups nearly tripled, according to an annual census by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The growth has been accompanied by a rash of crimes targeting Muslims,” the organization said last week.
Anti-Semitic crimes have also increased.The Jewish Community Center Association of North America has recorded 69 bomb threat incidents at dozens of centers in 27 US states and one Canadian province since the start of the year.
The Hindu American Foundation condemned the shooting, demanding that it be investigated as a hate crime.
“Anything less will be an injustice to the victims and their families,” the group said.
India’s government also chimed in.
“I am shocked at the shooting incident in Kansas,” tweeted India’s minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj. AFP