A US Navy veteran has pleaded guilty to killing an Indian techie in what was called a racially motivated hate crime in Kansas City last year.
Adam Purinton, 52, who had shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, in a bar, pleaded guilty in a Kansas court, media reports said.
Purinton was charged with first-degree murder of Kuchibhotla and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of his friend Alok Madasani, and a bystander.
Purinton would be sentenced to life in prison on May 4.
Kuchibhotla’s widow Sunayana Dumala in a statement later said, “Today’s guilty verdict will not bring back my Srinu, but it will send a strong message that hate is never acceptable.”
On the fateful day of on February 22, 2017, Kuchibhotla was having drinks at Austin’s Bar and Grill with Madasani, who is also from India, when Purinton approached them on the patio and began interrogating about their immigration status, Will Hurst, an assistant district attorney in Johnson County, said in a statement in court on Tuesday.
When other bar patrons came to the defence of the two men Purinton left, but soon returned with a Taurus 9-millimeter handgun and opened fire. The US Navy veteran had fired at the two Indian men at least eight times at close range, the prosecutor said. Madasani was hit once in the thigh and escaped, but Kuchibhotla was struck several times.
The Navy veteran had yelled “Get out of my country”, before shooting Kuchibhotla.
The murder was the first of a kind of radical hate crime after President Donald Trump assumed office. The news of the crime dominated the headlines all across the globe, raising the issue of safety of migrants residing in US.