External Affairs

Donald Trump Breaks Silence on Kansas Shooting in US Congress Speech

Trump’s comments came eight days after Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in a racially-motivated hate crime in Kansas.

US President Donald Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, US. Credit: Reuters

US President Donald Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, US. Credit: Reuters

Washington: Breaking his silence, US President Donald Trump today condemned as “evil” and “hate” the fatal Kansas shooting in which an Indian techie was killed.

“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,” Trump said in his first address to the joint session of US Congress.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and Alok Madasani, another Indian of the same age, injured in the shooting by navy veteran Adam Purinton, who yelled “terrorist” and “get out of my country” before opening fire on them.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Credit: gofundme.com

Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Credit: gofundme.com

A 24-year-old American named Ian Grillot who tried to defend the Indians also received injuries in the firing last Wednesday. Purinton, 51, apparently mistook the Indians for immigrants from the Middle East and yelled racial slurs “get out of my country” and “terrorists” before opening fire on them.

Trump’s comments came after the White House condemned the shooting as “racially-motivated hatred”.

“As more facts come to light, and it begins to look like this was an act of racially-motivated hatred, we want to reiterate that the president condemns these and any other racially or religiously motivated attacks in the strongest terms,” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during an off-camera news conference.

“They have no place in our country and we will continue to make that clear,” Sanders said.

“The president is keeping the family of the victim, who was senselessly, killed in his thoughts, and we’re praying for the full and speedy recovery of those who were wounded,” Sanders said.

By mentioning Kansas in his address, Trump heeded to the call being made by a number of Indian-American organisations and lawmakers to publicly condemn the shooting which is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a hate crime.

The FBI, along with the US Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice’s civil rights division, is working with the Olathe Police Department to investigate the shooting.

(PTI)