[Content Note: Gun violence; death; white supremacy.]
This is terrorism. At least, that's what it would be called if it were a non-white and/or non-Christian man who committed a crime like this.
A 51-year-old man faces first-degree murder charges after shooting three men in an Olathe, Kan., bar Wednesday night, police say, reportedly telling two of them, local Garmin engineers from India, to "get out of my country."My deepest condolences to Srinivas Kuchibhotla's family, friends, and colleagues. My thoughts are with Alok Madasani and Ian Grillot as they recover from their injuries.
One of the Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died in the hospital later from his wounds.
...Adam W. Purinton, 51, of Olathe, was also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for shooting two other patrons at Austin’s Bar and Grill: Alok Madasani, 32, of Overland Park, Kan., and 24-year-old Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene.
...Witnesses told the Kansas City Star and The Washington Post that Purinton was thought to have been kicked out of the bar Wednesday night before the shooting took place. ...He reportedly came back into the bar and hurled racial slurs at the two Indian men, including comments that suggested he thought they were of Middle Eastern descent.
Not only is this shooting not being reported as terrorism (and hardly being reported at all, compared to acts of public violence committed by non-white and/or Muslim shooters), but: "Authorities would not classify the shooting as a hate crime, but federal law enforcement officials said Thursday they are investigating with local police to determine if it was 'bias motivated.'"
CAIR-Kansas Board Chair Moussa Elbayoumy called for both "state and federal hate crime charges to be brought against Purinton 'in order to send a strong message that violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated.'"
Purinton, a Navy veteran, IT specialist, and former pilot and air traffic controller, was taken into custody about 70 miles away in Clinton, Mo., authorities told the Associated Press.Taken into custody alive, after shooting three people. It's amazing how white killers are somehow always taken alive, but Black people selling loose cigarettes or pulled over for a traffic violation or running away from police out of fear so often end up dead.
If there is any meaningful public conversation about this vicious crime at all, Purinton will be described as a "crazy lone wolf" whose bootstraps made him do it. There will be no exploration of the white supremacist organizations and institutions with which he was affiliated; there will be no exploration of how the military has been tasked with killing Muslims for more than a decade; there will be no exploration of how this did not happen in a vacuum, but in a political climate of extreme hostility toward Muslims and immigrants led from the top-down by our sitting president.
This is ideologically-motivated terrorism, even if no one in power will say so.