Last Wednesday, Garmin engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot and killed in a Kansas bar. His friend and colleague, Alok Madasani, was also injured in the attack along with Ian Grillot, who attempted to intervene. Madasani has been released from the hospital. Grillot is still hospitalized and in stable condition.
Witnesses say the shooter began yelling racial slurs and told the two Indian-born men to “get out of my country” prior to the attack. Witness reports also suggest that the shooter believed the men to be ‘Middle Eastern’ and falsely accused them of being in the country illegally. Garmin issued a statement on Friday saying, “We’re devastated by the senseless tragedy that took the life of one of our associates and friends… and injured another… Our thoughts are also with Ian Grillot… for his heroic efforts that fatal evening. Srinivas was a valued member of our engineering team and will be greatly missed. We are working closely with Srinivas’s and Alok’s families and appreciate the outpouring of support for them. As we grieve this tragedy as a community, our thoughts and prayers are with all involved.”
The alleged shooter is a U.S. Navy veteran, former air traffic controller, and private pilot. He was arrested on Thursday and charged with one count of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Authorities are still investigating the crime and have yet to officially identify a motive for the shooting. Though Kansas has no hate crime statue, there have been calls for federal hate crime charges to be brought.