(OLATHE, Kan.) — A Kansas man who’s been called a hero for trying to stop a deadly shooting last week said he was "happy" to risk his life to save others and that he's grateful for how his community has united following the incident.
Ian Grillot, 24, intervened to stop a gunman who witnesses said yelled "get out of my country" before shooting two Indian men in Olathe, Kansas last Wednesday, killing one.
Adam Purinton, a 51-year-old Navy veteran and former air traffic controller, is being charged with murder and attempted murder in the shooting that killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded Alok Madasani, both 32-year-old employees of the technology company Garmin.
Authorities are investigating if the shooting was a hate crime. Purinton is being held on a $2 million bond and is scheduled make his first court appearance on Monday.
“This is a very bad way of it happening, but, I'm so grateful that it is actually bringing the community together instead of driving them apart," Grillot said in an interview posted on the University of Kansas Hospital's YouTube page on Sunday. “It is such a beautiful thing. I love it.
“I was more than happy to risk my life to save the lives of others,” Grillot said. “I thank everybody for drawing together and supporting me and the other families affected by this.”
Grillot said he is recovering from gunshot wounds to his hand and chest. He said he was “doing a lot better,” but still sore and feeling the aftermath from “the bullet lodged in my ribs.”
People traveled from as far as India and Washington, D.C. to attend a prayer vigil for Kuchibhotla and the other victims in Olathe on Sunday.
Representative Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., attended the vigil and posted about it on his Instagram account, calling the incident a "great tragedy" and saying "thousands of concerned citizens came together to support one another and the Indian community."
He also urged people to remember Kuchibhotla’s life as well as Grillot’s “heroism.”
Many of the vigil’s attendees, including Mike Johns of Olathe, said they were there to rally for peace.
“This isn’t Selma, but this is close,” Johns told ABC affiliate KMBC on Sunday. “We’re marching, just like Dr. Martin Luther King [Jr.] did, for peace.”
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