On Wednesday evening, 51-year-old Adam W. Purinton reportedly yelled "get out of my country" before opening fire at an Olathe, KS, bar, killing one person of Indian descent and injuring another, as well as an unrelated bar patron. Shortly thereafter, he was heard allegedly bragging about having killed "Middle Eastern" men.
Now, Madasani Jaganmohan Reddy, whose son Alok is recovering from the shooting, has a message in the wake of what appears to be a racially motivated attack.
"The situation seems to be pretty bad after Trump took over as the U.S. president," Reddy told the Hindustan Times. "I appeal to all the parents in India not to send their children to the US in the present circumstances."
According to Reddy, his son and Srinivas Kuchibhotla were simply trying to watch a basketball game on the bar's large-screen TV when Purinton approached the pair.
"He picked up an argument with them and asked them why they were staying in the US illegally," Reddy explained. "They tried to tell him that they had done their MS (master’s degree) in Kansas in 2006 and had been staying there with valid work permits.”
After the bar manager kicked Purinton out at Alok and Srinivas's request, Purinton allegedly returned and started shooting. He has since been charged with one count of first degree murder, and two counts of attempted murder. Federal officials are also investigating whether the attack could be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Reddy's appeal to Indian parents may, in fact, be part of a larger trend. Travel and tourism to the United States has reportedly seen a sharp decline recently, in what's been called the "Trump slump."
In fact, the Kansas shooting comes just as President Trump doubles down on his harsh rhetoric, which has fertilized anti-immigrant sentiment across the country. On Friday, the president spoke before an enthusiastic crowd at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, telling attendees that, "the core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that put and will put its own citizens first."
Asked whether Alok and another son living in the U.S. would remain in the country, Reddy told the New York Times, "My sons are not new to America. They have been staying there for the last 10 to 12 years."
"This is a new situation," he added. "And they are the best judges."