Police investigate shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe
The suspect in Wednesday night’s triple shooting in Olathe allegedly told a bartender in Clinton, Mo., before he was arrested that he had killed two Middle Eastern men, The Star has learned.
The suspect, Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old Olathe resident, was drinking at a bar in an Applebee’s in Clinton when he was arrested early Thursday, about five hours after the shooting, police said. The suspect reportedly told the bartender that he needed a place to hide out.
Assistant Clinton Police Chief Sonny Lynch said that a bartender called police after the man talked about being involved in a shooting.
Clinton officers responded and took the man into custody without incident. Lynch said the man was not armed when he was arrested.
At least one witness reportedly heard the suspect yell “get out of my country” shortly before shooting men he thought were Middle Eastern. Both men, engineers at Garmin, appear to be originally from India.
Purinton was booked into the Henry County Jail. No charges have yet been filed.
The Star’s account of the 7:15 p.m. shooting Wednesday at Austins Bar and Grill in south Olathe near 151st Street and Mur-Len Road comes from law enforcement officials and witnesses at the scene.
The shooting left one man dead and two others injured.
Two of the shooting victims were employees of the Aviation Systems Engineering team at Garmin, headquartered in Olathe.
In an email to employees, Garmin officials identified the fatal victim as employee Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Alok Madasani was injured, the email said.
“Unfortunately, two associates on our Aviation Systems Engineering team, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani, were shot. We are devastated to inform you that Srinivas passed away and Alok is currently recovering in the hospital,” Garmin said in the email.
In a public statement, Garmin said, “We’re saddened that two Garmin associates were involved in last night’s incident, and we express our condolences to the family and friends of our co-workers involved. Garmin will have grievance counselors on-site and available for its associates today and tomorrow.”
Kuchibhotla posted on LinkedIn in 2014 that he managed helicopter programs. He had a master’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India.
A 2014 post on LinkedIn said Madasani was an aviation program coordinator manager at Garmin. He studied at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and at Vasavi College of Engineering in India.
A third victim, Ian Grillot, was shot in the hand and shoulder. Witnesses said he stood up to the shooter and tried to stop him. A Go Fund Me site had been set up for him.
Public records show Adam Wade Purinton, 51, owns a house in the 17600 block of West 155th Street in Olathe and previously lived in Wichita. Records also indicate Purinton may have served in the Navy.
There are no federal or Missouri criminal records on Purinton.
Records indicate Purinton has an inactive pilot’s license.
After the shooting, a heavy police presence descended upon neighborhoods close to Austins, which is near Olathe South High School and the headquarters of Garmin Ltd.
At one point, authorities blocked off several intersections near 155th and Lindenwood, just south of where police had set up a command post at Scarborough Elementary School. Police in military-style vehicles and officers in camouflage gear were seen in the vicinity of a house there.
Clinton police took the suspect into custody at 12:40 a.m. Thursday, according to a statement from Olathe police. Clinton is about 80 miles from Olathe and generally takes about 90 minutes to travel there by vehicle.
The suspect was being interviewed by detectives from Olathe and was transferred to the Henry County Jail later Thursday.
Witnesses said the suspect was in Austins drinking and making racial slurs. At one point, they said, one of the regulars stood up to the man.
Neighbors in the Scarborough neighborhood said the suspect may have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He also may have recently been diagnosed with a serious illness.
Four hours after the shooting, investigators were inside the bar combing for evidence.
Tyler Lape, 23, of Olathe, was at the bar and left about five minutes before the shooting.
He said he thought a friend of his was among the injured, possibly shot in the shoulder and the hand.
Lape said the bar was packed with people watching the University of Kansas basketball game.
Lape was having a beer with his friend and left to go home and let his dogs out. Minutes later, he heard news of the shooting.
“I was just there, that’s impossible,” he thought.
By the time he got back, the bar was a crime scene.
Lape said he didn’t know why his friend would have been shot, and he was worried about him.
“He’s a really nice guy,” Lape said. “He would stick up for anybody. He’s not a guy who would start a fight.”
Garret Bohnen watched police work the crime scene from a car across the street from the bar. Bohnen said he was worried about the fate of the Austin workers, which includes a roommate. He knows many of the regulars, whom he has served before.
The roommate called Bohnen after the incident.
“He said, ‘Yo, someone got shot,’ ” Bohnen said. “He said it three times over.”
Bohnen added the incident was frightening.
“It’s scary,” he said. “It’s a place I know. It’s like a miniature family. The regulars know us, and we know the regulars.”
Former University of Kansas football player Daymond Patterson II tweeted that a cousin once worked at the bar. Patterson, now a personal trainer for professional athletes, expressed disbelief about the shooting.
“Heard somebody randomly went into a restaurant my cousin used to work at in Olathe today and shoot (sic) it up,” Patterson wrote. “...Crazy world!”
Star reporters Glenn E. Rice and Ian Cummings contributed to this report.