Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a 32-year-old engineer, was shot and killed last week at a bar in Olathe, Kansas. Adam W. Purinton, 51, allegedly opened fire after shouting racist slurs at Kuchibhotla and 32-year-old Alok Madasani, both of whom were born in India and lived in the Kansas City suburb. Witnesses said the shooter yelled “get out of my country.” Madasani and a bystander who intervened were also shot and injured.
It took the White House six days to condemn the attack. Ahead of President Donald Trump’s address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, the White House released a statement saying the shooting was “an act of racially motivated hatred.”
In his remarks Tuesday night, Trump said, “Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”
While news of Kuchibhotla’s death has received some press coverage in the United States, progressive media watchdog organization Media Matters reported that broadcast and cable news networks “largely ignored” the Feb. 22 shooting.
Meanwhile, news of Kuchibhotla’s killing and Trump’s silence on the matter were the topic of angry editorials in most of India’s major daily newspapers, the New York Times reported, as well as headline news in India since the shooting.
Kuchibhotla’s funeral took place this week in the engineer’s hometown of Hyderabad. In a message posted to Facebook on Wednesday, Kuchibhotla’s wife asked of immigrants living in the United States, “Do we belong here?”