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Kansas shooting victim calls on Trump to address possible hate crime

Kansas shooting victim calls on Trump to address possible hate crime
Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 14:15:11-05

(CNN) -- A man who was shot while attempting to intervene in an attack on two Indian men in a bar near Kansas City is calling on President Donald Trump to address the possible hate crime in his speech to Congress Tuesday night.

"I would like to hear him address it because it is a very sensitive subject right now," Ian Grillot, 24, told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."

"I think it should be addressed because there's a lot of people in mourning," he continued. "It's just a very sad subject."

At a news conference later Tuesday, Grillot pointed out that Trump has "made statements on the Oscars, and this, that, and the other, but not this that took lives."

 

 

"That is a little upsetting to see," Grillot said. "But also, I do understand that this is a very sensitive subject, so hopefully he's just trying to figure out the right things to say and the right ways to word it," he added.

Trump is set to speak in a primetime address Tuesday evening in the context of a new wave of hate crimes, including dozens of bomb threats against Jewish institutions Monday.

The shooting

Grillot was shot February 22 after confronting a man who was behaving in an agitated manner toward two Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, at Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, witness Jeremy Luby told CNN.

A regular at the bar, Grillot said he approached the man and asked him to leave. Grillot said the man then asked him, "So you're going to stick up for them, and not me?"

The suspect, identified by police as 51-year-old Adam Purinton, left the bar and drove away, according to Grillot.

Prosecutors said Purinton returned later and opened fire in the bar.

Grillot said at the news conference that the man had his face covered with a scarf when he returned and "went directly towards those men" with his gun, referring to Kuchibhotla and Madasani.

One witness reportedly heard the suspect yell, "Get out of my country" before shooting, the Kansas City Star reports, though police have not corroborated that report.

Kuchibhotla was killed and Madasani survived. Both men were 32-years-old, working as engineers at GPS-maker Garmin.

Grillot said he counted gunshots, and when he thought the shooter was out of bullets he chased him down. "My hand was about to be on his shoulder" when he turned around and shot, Grillot said.

The bullet went through Grillot's hand and into his chest, Dr. Justin Green of the University of Kansas hospital said. Had the bullet gone a centimeter in another direction, Green said, Grillot would have died.

The arrest

Purinton was arrested hours later at an Applebee's restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, about 70 miles away from Olathe. He faces one charge of first-degree murder and two charges of attempted first-degree murder.

In 911 calls released by CNN affiliate KSHB, an Applebee's bartender told police that a man had admitted to shooting two "Iranian" people in Olathe and was looking for a place to hide.

A motive has not yet been established, and the FBI is looking into the case to determine whether the shootings would be considered federal hate crimes.

Appearing in court via video conference Monday, Purinton looked haggard and was soft-spoken. He was assigned a court-appointed attorney, and his bond remains set at $2 million. His next court date is March 9.

CNN's Eric Levenson, Mayra Cuevas and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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