“Our goal is to make sure that he never walks in the community again,” Mr. Howe said of Mr. Purinton, adding, “I believe that this sentence will achieve that result.”
In a statement read on video and posted by The Kansas City Star, Sunayana Dumala, Mr. Kuchibhotla’s widow, said, “Today’s sentencing in the murder of my husband will not bring back Srinu to me, but it will send out a very strong message that hate is never acceptable.”
[Ms. Dumala previously told us her story. Read it here.]
On Feb. 22, 2017, Mr. Kuchibhotla was having drinks at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kan., with a co-worker, Alok Madasani, who was also from India. At some point, Mr. Purinton approached the men on the patio and began interrogating them about their immigration statuses.
“Where are you from?” he asked, according to Will Hurst, an assistant district attorney in Johnson County, who read from a statement in a court appearance in March. “How did you get into this country?”
Other bar patrons came to the defense of the two men, and Mr. Purinton left.
He returned with a handgun, covered his face with a scarf and opened fire, Mr. Hurst said. Mr. Purinton, a Navy veteran, fired at the two men at least eight times at close range, the prosecutor said. Mr. Madasani was hit once in the thigh and escaped, but Mr. Kuchibhotla was struck several times.
A third man, Ian Grillot, tried to confront Mr. Purinton, believing that he had run out of ammunition. Mr. Grillot was shot through the hand and chest. His actions were later widely praised.
The murder generated outrage in India and dominated headlines in the news media there. Many blamed President Trump’s tough rhetoric on immigration, but the White House rejected any link between that and the shooting.
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