A Kansas man is being hailed as a hero for taking two bullets for strangers who were attacked by a racist shooter at a Kansas bar.
Ian Grillot, 24, sustained two gunshot wounds, one in the hand and one bullet just missing a major artery in the chest after trying to stop a terrible racist attack on two Indian engineers on Wednesday.
Grillot reportedly jumped on 51-year-old attacker Adam Purinton from behind after he opened fire at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, Kansas, the Independent reports.
Purinton is now charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder, after shooting and killing Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounding Alok Madasani, both 32 and engineers at Garmin.
Kuchibhotla’s family is now in need of financial support for the transport of his remains to India and other funeral expenses. Madasani, on the other hand, is currently in stable condition.
According to eyewitnesses, the racist gunman was heard speaking racial slurs at the victims and declaring “get out of my country” before he began shooting at them. Reports stated that some of the comments he made suggested he thought they were of Middle Eastern descent.
In a video interview, Grillot said he took action because it was right to do so and dismissed any suggestion that he was a hero.
“It’s not like that,” he said. “I just did what I felt was naturally right to do… I was just doing what anyone should have done for another human being.”
“It’s not about where he was from or his ethnicity. We’re all humans, so I just did what was right to do,” he added.
Grillot narrated that he initially hid when the shooting broke out and emerged when he thought the shooter had emptied his rounds.
“I got up and proceeded to chase him down, try to subdue him. I got behind him and he turned around and fired a round at me,” said Grillot.
The incident has not been labeled as a hate crime despite the involvement of federal authorities in the investigation.
“This was a violent crime and we want the best prosecution that relates to this because there are victims of this crime and we want the community to know that … we’re looking to make sure that the individual involved in this is held accountable for his actions,” FBI special agent Eric Jackson was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Grillot is now being treated in a hospital where the doctors informed him that he could have easily been killed or left paralyzed.
“I was told I was incredibly lucky,” Grillot said. “[The bullet] could have severed my spine. I could have never walked again, let alone never seen my family again.”
To help cover costs for his medical bills, his sisters have set up GoFundMe campaign.