A 24-year-old American, who took a bullet for an Indian, has been honoured as ‘A True American Hero’ by the Indian-American community in Houston which raised $100,000 to help him buy a house in his hometown Kansas.
Ian Grillot, who was injured when he tried to intervene in the shooting by a Navy veteran targeting Indians at a bar in Olathe, Kansas last month, was honoured as ‘A True American Hero’ at the 14th annual gala of India House Houston .
Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed and his colleague Alok Madasani was critically injured in the shooting.
“On behalf of the Indian-American community in Houston, India House recognised this selfless act beyond the call of duty and has extended the community’s gratitude to Ian Grillot by helping him to buy a house,” said a statement posted on the India House Houston Facebook page.
India House raised $100,000 as part of an initiative supported by the Consul General of India in Houston Dr. Anupam Ray to help Ian buy a house in his hometown, it said.
India’s ambassador to the US Navtej Sarna handed over a cheque of $100,000 to Ian.
“I don’t know if I could’ve lived with myself if I wouldn’t have stopped or attempted to stop the shooter because that would’ve been completely devastating.
“I do now have a very powerful message and if I can help empower people and spread hope and love, then why not? I am honoured to be at India House that serves so many families from so many communities in the Houston area,” Ian said.
India House is a community centre built by Americans of Indian origin in the Greater Houston area.
“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. Ian Grillot is a man who reminds us of the promise of America and its greatness,” said Jiten Agarwal, a prominent Houstonian and chair of the annual gala.