Kansas shooting ‘racially motivated hatred’, says White House

A shooting in Kansas that killed one Indian man and wounded another was an “act of racially motivated hatred”, the White House has said.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla died from his injuries after a man opened fire in a bar last week. Witnesses said the attacker shouted racist abuse.

Hundreds attended 32-year-old Mr Kuchibhotla’s cremation in Hyderabad, southern India, on Tuesday.

The FBI is investigating the crime as a hate crime, it has now confirmed.

India mourns ‘kind soul’ shot in Kansas

“As more facts come to light and it begins to look like this was an act of racially motivated hatred, we want to reiterate that the president condemns these or any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters on Tuesday.

A third man who suffered bullet wounds in the shooting has called on President Donald Trump to raise the subject of hate crime in his speech to Congress on Tuesday night.

“I think it should be addressed because there’s a lot of people in mourning,” said Ian Grillot.

Media caption“He asked us if we were in the US legally”

A man has been charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Nearly 200 people turned out for Mr Kuchibhotla’s cremation in his native city of Hyderabad, India.

His body arrived in the southern city on Monday and his widow, Sunayana Dumala and brother, Sai Kiran, both returned home for the funeral.

Ms Dumala released a statement on Facebook on Tuesday, saying “the fight must go on towards eradicating hatred from the minds of people”.

She also questioned the government’s role in thwarting hate crimes and whether immigrants are still safe in the US.

“Is this the same country we dreamed of and is it still secure to raise our families and children here?” she wrote.

‘Do we belong here?’ – Rajini Vaidyanathan, BBC News, Washington

Today Srinivas Kutchibhotla made his final journey.

Surrounded by his family and grieving friends, he was cremated in his home city of Hyderabad, in India.

After the service his widow, Sunayana Dumala posted a statement thanking her family and friends for their support during this difficult time.

She paid tribute to her charming soul mate, a brilliant aviation engineer, who was so dedicated to his job he often worked late. Her husband’s death has left her with many questions.

“On what basis do we decide whether a person is good or bad,” she said, as she made a plea that the conversation around hate crimes doesn’t die down in a few weeks.

The question in every immigrant’s mind, she asked, is “do we belong here?”

Her words will resonate with many who’ve come to live in the US. Sunayana hopes that her husband’s death isn’t in vain, and that her words will promote tolerance of all races and backgrounds.

The suspected attacker, Adam Purinton, 51, was arraigned in court on Monday on charges of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

After the attack at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, Mr Purinton, who is white, drove 70 miles (112km) to a restaurant in Clinton, Missouri, where he allegedly admitted what he had done to an employee.

A bartender there told a police dispatcher in a 911 call that a man had claimed to have “killed two Iranian people in Olathe”