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FBI investigating Kansas bar shooting as hate crime

Alok Madasani, who was wounded in a bar shooting that killed Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, sings during a candlelight vigil at a conference center in Olathe, Kansas, U.S., Feb. 26, 2017. On right is Madasani’s wife Reepthi Gangula. 

REUTERS/Dave Kaup

OLATHE, Kan. -- The FBI confirmed for the first time on Tuesday that it is investigating as a hate crime last week’s Kansas bar shooting that killed an Indian man and wounded another. 

The FBI said in a statement Tuesday that it bases that probe on “the initial investigative activity” involving the Feb. 22 attack at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas. 

The FBI declined additional comment, citing the investigation.

Witnesses to the shooting said 51-year-old suspect Adam Purinton yelled “get out of my country” at 32-year-olds Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani before opening fire. Kuchibhotla was killed and Madasani was wounded. Both were working as engineers for GPS device-maker Garmin.

Another bar patron who tried to intervene also was wounded. 

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Adam Purinton

WIBW

Just days after her husband was killed, the widow of Kuchibhotla said she feared living in the U.S. as an immigrant, CBS News’ Paul Reid reported.

“I was always concerned -- are we doing the right thing, by staying in United States of America?” she said.

The shooting made headlines across India. On the streets of central Delhi, people lashed out at how they are perceived in the United States.

“The feeling is we are robbing them of their their jobs, and nothing else,” one man said.

Purinton is charged with murder and attempted murder.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the White House said that President Donald Trump condemns any “racially or religiously motivated attacks.” 

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Tuesday that Mr. Trump is “keeping the family of the victim who was senselessly killed in his thoughts and praying for the full and speedy recovery for those who were wounded.”

Sanders says these types of attacks “have no place in our country.”