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Trump Condemns 'Shooting In Kansas City' In Joint Address To Congress

Nearly a week aftera deadly shooting in Olathe, Kansas, left one Indian man dead and two more men wounded, President Donald Trump condemned the incident in the opening lines of his first joint address to Congress Tuesday. 

That public statement came after the FBI earlier in the day confirmed it was investigating the shooting at Austin's Bar and Grill as a possible hate crime. Witnesses say the shooter shouted racial epithets and the phrase "get out of my country" before opening fire on the two Indian men.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, a Garmin engineer and Indian national, was killed. His Garmin colleague Alok Madasani, another Indian national, was wounded. 

A third man Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene, was also wounded. Yesterday, Grillot urged Trump to make a public statement about the shooting. 

In his address Tuesday night, Trump began by citing recent threats against Jewish community centers around the nation and vandalism at historic Jewish cemeteries. He then included the Olathe shooting in his condemnation, though he made a slight mistake in identifying the location of the incident.

"As well as last week's shooting in Kansas City, [these incidents] 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 of its very ugly forms," he said, which spurred a standing ovation. 

Trump had made some impatient with his silence on the shooting. Jay Kansara with the Hindu American Foundation attended a vigil Sunday for Kuchibhotla in Olathe. There, he urged the Trump Administration to come out more forcefully against the crime. 

"I send this message very clearly to Attorney General [Jeff] Sessions and President Trump to please prosecute this as a hate crime because it serves as a marker for what is not tolerated," he said. 

Trump also created waves Tuesday before his joint address when he reportedly questioned who was behind a recent spate of bomb threats to Jewish community centers. The Pennsylvania Attorney General told Buzzfeed News Trump suggested the threats were made to make him look bad. 

Kyle Palmer is KCUR's morning newscaster. You can follow him on Twitter @kcurkyle

Kyle Palmer is the editor of the Shawnee Mission Post, a digital news outlet serving Northeast Johnson County, Kansas. He previously served as KCUR's news director and morning newscaster.
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