Trump remains silent on Kansas shooting

President Donald Trump has yet to address the recent Olathe, Kansas, bar shootings of Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani in what’s being investigated as a possible hate crime.

51-year-old Adam Purinton verbally harassed the men until he was thrown out of the bar, later returning to shoot the two men. Madasani and a bystander named Ian Grillot, who intervened in the shooting, were both injured. Kuchibhotla died at a nearby hospital.

Grillot, who is still in the hospital with injuries, said in an interview released by the hospital, “I thought I heard nine shots, expected his magazine to be empty so I got up and proceeded to chase him down, tried to subdue him so that the police could come in and do what they needed to do,” adding, “I didn’t want the gentleman to potentially go after somebody else. If he did it once, what would stop him from doing it again?”

While White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has made an official White House statement about the matter, he strenuously denied the possibility that the president’s xenophobic rhetoric and executive orders encouraged Purinton’s actions. “I mean, obviously, any loss of life is tragic,” he said. “To suggest that there’s any correlation I think is a bit absurd. So I’m not going to go any further than that.”

The Kansas City Star, which has been covering the shooting extensively, published an op-ed yesterday evening that questioned Trump’s “disquieting” silence.

Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds.

The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma.

Trump usually loves to celebrate all-American heroes. But he’s passed on commending Ian Grillot, a bystander who leapt to take the gunman down before anyone else was harmed. Grillot was shot, too.

Surely the White House team could have cobbled together a statement of some sort, a response to at least address growing fears that the U.S. is unwelcoming of immigrants, or worse, that the foreign-born need to fear for their lives here. The deadly incident in Olathe has resonated across the country and even around the globe.

During such moments of crisis, people look to the president for strength and guidance.

The White House, via Spicer, also officially condemned the recent spate of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers around the country, as well as the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries. Trump has given a modicum of lip service to anti-Semitism but has yet to formally speak out against these acts as hate crimes.

[photo: Clinton Police Department]