Hero in Kansas shooting: ‘We should stick up for each other’

When shots start, we run. It’s instinct. It’s entirely forgivable.

Some people don’t run.

Ian Grillot didn’t run. Instead, he jumped the gunman in Olathe, Kansas who was shooting at two men because he wanted them out of his country.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, an Indian national was killed. His co-worker at Garmin, 32-year-old Alok Madasani of Overland Park, was wounded.

“I still don’t view myself as a hero,” Grillot said. “I was just doing the right thing. We’re humans. We should stick up for each other. We’re all we got in this world.”

He spoke to reporters yesterday from his hospital, the Kansas City Star reports.

The 24-year-old had been staining shutters for a remodeling job in Grandview that day. He later dropped in at Austins, near 151st Street and Mur-Len Road, to watch the University of Kansas basketball game and to catch up with some friends over food and beer. He loved that bar and grill — still does — and he would greet Kuchibholta and Madasani when he saw them there, maybe once a week.

“I always said ‘hey’ to them because they were cool guys, I liked them,” Grillot said. “We weren’t on a first-name basis, but I don’t know a stranger.”

Grillot and his friends noticed that one bar patron was harassing the Garmin engineers. Other witnesses have said the man was asking them what kind of visa they were on and telling them to “get out of my country.”

“He caused a little bit of conflict, and one of my good friends went up and said, ‘Don’t do that,’ ” Grillot recalled. “Well, I’m not going to let my friend be in that kind of situation, just in case he wanted to do anything crazy. … I helped him get out of that situation and helped escort the gentleman out of the bar.”

While he was being showed out, Grillot said, the man asked, “So, you’re going to stick up for them and not me?”

“And that’s when I kind of knew what he was kind of insinuating,” Grillot said, noting that the man was wearing some kind of a naval shirt with medals and ribbons on it.

“He returned about 20 to 30 minutes later with a different agenda at that time, apart from just verbally harassing,” Grillot said. “And that’s when it all changed.”

The young hero was shot in his “moneymaking hand,” so a GoFundMe account has already raised close to a half-million dollars for him.

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