Purinton told the bartender that he had shot two people in Olathe, Kansas, and was looking for a place to hide, the bartender told dispatchers.
“He said that he shot and killed two … people in Olathe. And I looked it up on the news, there are these shootings like three hours ago.”
The shootings happened at Austin’s Bar and Grill in the Kansas suburb of Olathe about 7 p.m. on Wednesday, authorities said. Police said the suspect shot Alok Madasani and Srinivas Kuchibhotla, both 32, and Ian Grillot, 24.
The same night, about 11:35 p.m., a bartender told dispatchers that the suspect was at a restaurant 70 miles away in Clinton, Missouri.
She implored the dispatchers to tell officers not to drive up with sirens blaring.
“There’s people in the building … If the cops come in here, they need to do it quietly and not have sirens on because I’m afraid he’s gonna freak out,” the bartender told dispatchers.
Officers arrived at the Applebee’s at 11:43 p.m., and the suspect gave himself up without incident, the affiliate reported.
Madasani and Kuchibhotla, originally from India, worked at Garmin, the technology company that makes GPS devices. Kuchibhotla died.
Purinton, 51, was charged with one count of premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder.
The FBI has joined the investigation to determine whether the shootings are hate crimes. Authorities said the suspect’s motive is under investigation.
The widow of the man killed said she was constantly worried about violence against foreigners in the United States, but her husband had assured her everything would be OK.
“I told him many a times, ‘Should we think about going back? Should we think about going to a different country?’ He said, ‘No,’ ” Sunayana Dumala said, according to video recorded by CNN affiliate KCTV-TV.
‘I thought all the trouble was over with’
The incident started after the suspect became agitated at the bar, where patrons were watching a basketball game, Grillot said.
Witnesses told local media they heard the suspect yell, “Get out of my country.” Police have not corroborated the statements.
Grillot said he defended the men and asked the suspect to leave.
“I opened the door and was like, ‘I’m going to have to ask you to leave, sir. There’s no reason to act like that around this bar. This is a family restaurant,'” Grillot told CNN affiliate KMBC-TV.
A witness told CNN the suspect asked Grillot: “Why are you standing up for them?” Jeremy Luby said the man emphasized “them,” as if it were a derogatory term.
Luby said the man stumbled around the parking lot for a while, then got in a pickup and left. He later returned and started firing, he said.
“I thought all the trouble was over with, and we were all just sitting and watching the game minding our own business,” Grillot told the affiliate.
Grillot was shot in the hand and chest as he tried to stop the gunman.
The suspect ran away as police closed in, The Kansas City Star reported.
Purinton was extradited to Johnson County, Kansas, on Friday, and is being held on a $2 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday. It’s unclear whether he has retained an attorney.