Nearly a week after a triple shooting in Olathe sparked a federal inquiry into possible hate crimes, President Donald Trump made his first public statement on the attack.
In a joint speech to Congress on Tuesday night, Trump condemned the shooting that left Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, dead.
Kuchibhotla’s Garmin co-worker Alok Madasani, of Overland Park, and bystander Ian Grillot were wounded in the shooting Feb. 22 at Austins Bar & Grill near 151st Street and Mur-Len Road.
The FBI confirmed earlier that it is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
Trump opened the joint address by denouncing the Kansas City area attack and a recent wave of anti-Semitism.
“We are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all of its very ugly forms,” Trump said.
The condemnation comes six days after the crime, a delay many had criticized.
On Monday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Trump to speak out on the shooting.
Earlier, the White House condemned the fatal attack on an Indian engineer in Kansas City last week by a US Navy veteran as “racially-motivated hatred”.
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, another Indian of the same age, was injured in the shooting by the navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled “terrorist” and “get out of my country” before opening fire on them.
A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians received injuries in the firing.
Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East.
Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had said the incident was “disturbing”, but did not say whether the Trump administration believed it was a hate crime.
The tragedy has led to fears among immigrants, who feel being targeted by President Donald Trump’s plans to ban travellers from certain countries and build a wall along the Mexico border to realise his campaign pledge of putting “America first”.