(Reuters) - A Kansas man, accused of shouting “get out of my country” as he shot dead one Indian man and injured another at a bar, faces federal hate crime and firearms charges, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday.
A U.S. grand jury indicted Adam Purinton, 52, on charges of killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounding Alok Madasani, both 32, because of their race, color, religion and national origin.
Purinton was also charged with a federal firearms violation in the Feb. 22 incident at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, a Kansas City suburb. The shootings also injured an American, Ian Grillot, 24, who tried to intervene.
“The indictment alleges that Purinton committed the offenses after substantial planning and premeditation, attempted to kill more than one person in a single criminal episode, and knowingly created a grave risk of death to others on the scene,” the Justice Department said in a news release.
An attorney for Purinton could not immediately be reached for comment. He also faces state murder and attempted murder charges.
Local media reported at the time that Purinton thought he had killed two Iranian men.
Purinton’s indictment comes amid growing concern about a wave of hateful actions across the United States aimed at blacks, Jews, Muslims and other groups targeted by inflammatory rhetoric that gained prominence during the 2016 presidential election.
If convicted, Purinton could face capital punishment or life in prison. Justice officials said they had not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty.
Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Ben Klayman and James Dalgleish
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.