Former military medic’s training, ethos kick in during Kansas ‘hate crime’ shooting

A man is in jail for allegedly shooting three men and killing one of them Wednesday at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas. (Screenshot from Fox4 video)

Wednesday night started out like many others in the small town of Olathe, Kan., but when a former medic sat down for dinner with his family at a local bar and grill, he would have never thought the night would end with one patron dead and two more wounded.

The shooting started after the suspect, Adam W. Purinton, 51, became agitated at Austins Bar and Grill, where patrons were watching a basketball game.

Fox 4 in Kansas City is reporting Srinivas Kuchibotla died after being rushed to the hospital, Alok Madasani was wounded and is recovering. Both of the men are identified as regulars of the popular sports bar, and both worked at nearby Garmin International.

The third victim, Ian Grillot, is also recovering from a gunshot wound after witnesses say he intervened.

Another Good Samaritan was on the scene as well. Former medic Mark Hinojosa was enjoying a meal with his family when he heard the gunfire.

Mark Hinojosa (screenshot from Fox 4 video)
Mark Hinojosa (Screenshot from Fox 4 video)

“I had no idea what I was going to do if I encountered this person except I was going to try and stop him,” Hinojosa told Fox 4.

He described the scene to local reporters and said his family’s safety was first in his mind.

“I started hearing this ‘pop, pop, pop.’ The sound was so loud, even in the back where I was sitting, it sounded like it was right there,” Hinojosa described.

His first instinct was to protect his daughter — who is disabled. Hinojosa said he knew she could not get away, so he went after the shooter before the shooter could go after her.

“To see the waves of people rushing toward the back and chairs all over the place. I don’t know something just kicked in,” the veteran said.

As Hinojosa ran toward where he thought the gunfire was, police say the shooting suspect had fled. When the vet turned back to find his family, he says he saw Kuchibotla on the ground in the porch area of Austins.

“And then we found the gunshot wound to the chest and there wasn’t an exit wound, so we knew we had some problems,” Hinojosa said.

The shooter yelled, “Get out of my country,” before opening fire, and the medic knew the time to act was now.

He was a medic in the military, and said he and two other men performed CPR on the dying man, held the wound to control the bleeding and turned the victim to try and keep his lungs clear. They talked to him in encouraging tones, trying to keep him alive.

“And I prayed over him that he would have God’s peace. In that time he was with us, he knew that people cared about him,” Hinojosa said.

Kuchibotla, 32, died hours later at a hospital. It’s emotional for Hinojosa, and while he did not know Kuchibotla, in those moments he says he saw what kind of a person he was.

“If I was going to describe him, he looks like a really nice guy. I feel good that we were there for him, I feel good that he knew we were there for him because I believe he did,” Hinojosa told Fox 4.

The New York Times reports the government of India expressed shock on Friday after the shooting.

Dhruva Jaishankar, a foreign policy fellow at Brookings India in New Delhi, said that an isolated incident like this would not affect the relationship between America and India. But if more attacks against Indians were to occur, or if the United States were perceived to not be taking such cases seriously enough, there could be a problem, he said.

District Attorney Stephen Howe told a news conference would not elaborate on the details of the incident or the motive for the shooting.

“We want to be able to be sure about our facts versus speculation. So we are not prepared at this point to talk about the particular facts of the case because this is still very fresh.”

Fox 4 reports Purinton has been charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of premeditated attempted murder. If he’s eventually found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

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  • Jim Verchio is a staff writer for Popular Military. As a retired Air Force Public Affairs craftsman, Jim has served at all levels. From staff writer to Editor-In-Chief, he has more than 30 years experience covering military topics in print and broadcast from the CONUS to Afghanistan. He is also a two time recipient of the DoD’s prestigious Thomas Jefferson Award for journalism excellence.

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