Ian Grillot, a U.S. national, stepped in the line of fire, to try and save Srinivas and Alok, from a racially-motivated gunman. His bravery earned him an honour from TIME Magazine.
On 22nd February, Srinivas Kuchibotla, and Alok Madasani were unwinding in Austin’s Bar and Grill, in Olathe, Kansas. Adam Purinton, strode towards the bar’s patio, burst through the flimsy door, and shouted “get out of my country!” before opening fire on the two friends.
Ian Grillot, a 24-year old former Marine, tried subduing the gunman, and got shot through the hand, in the chest. He succeeded in preventing the assailant from causing further damage.
Srinivas died, Alok barely made it, and Ian was lucky to have escaped. As grim and horrific as the situation seemed, the only silver lining was there for the world to see—a human had stepped up and prevented a hate-crime against a fellow human.
TIME Magazine honoured Ian’s timely action, by featuring his name in the magazine among
“5 Heroes Who Gave Us Hope in 2017.” What was supposed to be just another evening spent watching basketball and grabbing a drink or two, turned into a frantic night for Ian.
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Ian was in hospital after the incident, and during his recovery, was visited by Alok. Thrilled to see him, he now considers Alok his “new best friend”. Ian’s simple and honest views on life are clear in his statement to The Hindu. He says, “I was just doing what anyone should have done,” adding “It’s not about where he’s from, or ethnicity. We’re all humans.”