It’s a foolish crime that blended idiocy with bigotry and unwarranted violence. On February 22, Ian Grillot was relaxing in a Olathe, Kansas bar. Nearby were Srinivas Kuchibhotla (32), Alok Madasani (32), and Adam Purinton (51). Srinivas and Alok were aviation systems engineers at Garmin, and of Indian decent. Then Adam began assaulting the two men with bigoted remarks, apparently mistaking them for Middle Eastern muslims.
Adam was escorted out of the bar. However, 20 minutes later he came back, and he brought a gun. As bullets were flying, Ian Grillot approached the gunman and stood between him and his victims. Ian was shot in the right hand and the chest, narrowly missing his heart and spine. After that, Adam fled the scene.
Tragically, Srinivas died of his injuries. Alok survived, and largely in part thanks to the bravery of Ian.
Today, Adam sits in jail on charges of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder.
Ian and Alok spent many days recovering from gunshot wounds in the hospital. While there, the two men visited each other and formed a friendship.
This past Saturday, Ian and Alok were honored here in Houston. While Ian knew the event was being organized in his honor, he had no idea the surprise that laid in store for him.
The India House, which hosted the gala, pooled money with three other donors to gift Ian $100,000. Ian plans to use the money towards purchasing a home.
“It is not every day that one meets a genuine hero — a person who risks his life for another, and takes a bullet for a complete stranger,” said India House Houston’s annual gala chair Jiten Agarwal. “Ian Grillot is a man who reminds us of the promise of America and its greatness.”
The gala’s three guest speakers included Navtej Sarna, Indian Ambassador to the United States.
India House is 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization located in Houston. Their mission is to unite cultures, create bridges and serve the community by bringing resources, education, services and Indian culture to Houstonians. You can visit their website at www.indiahouseinc.org.