Two months after Austin's shooting, local attorney seeks to unite diverse cultures

The Feb. 22 incident in Olathe is being investigated as a hate crime

Dan Weinbaum
April 25, 2017 - 6:54 am

Two months after the shooting at Austin's Bar & Grill in Olathe that killed one man and wounded two, an event is scheduled that is designed to bring emotional healing.

The event is called One Community: Together in Solidarity. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church at 93rd and Nall in Overland Park. There is no charge.

Tuesday night's event is designed to bring people together from diverse faiths and cultures. The headline speaker of the event is Valarie Kaur, a civil rights advocate, filmmaker and author. Kaur recently delivered a powerful speech "Breath and Push."

The One Community event is the brainchild of local attorney Rekha Sharma-Crawford, who says her Indian-American community can stay silent no longer.

"My community was not very prepared," Sharma-Crawford said. "It wasn't prepared to deal with the facts of the shooting, prepared to deal with the fear and the feelings that they would feel afterwards."

Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot to death. His friend and co-worker at nearby Garmin, Alok Madasani, has recovered from a gunshot wound. Ian Grillot, 24, was seriously injured while trying to intervene on Kuchibhotla and Madasani's behalf. Grillot has since been hailed as a hero throughout India, where the two other victims were born and raised.

The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime. Adam Purinton, 51, is charged with murder and other offenses. Witnesses said Purinton used racist epithets before shooting the men. 

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