Monday, March 27, 2017

He risked his life to chase down the perpetrator of a hate crime

Olathe Kansas resident Ian Grillot was at a local bar last month, watching a basketball game. A man entered the bar and made disparaging remarks to two other patrons, whom he assumed to be of Middle Eastern descent. He was heard to yell, "Get out of my country!" and was promptly ejected from the bar. He returned, gun in hand, and shots were fired.

On instinct, Grillot ducked beneath a table but kept his presence of mind. He counted 9 shots, and assumed the shooter's magazine was then empty. So he stood and gave chase, intent on catching the gunman before he could harm someone else.

Turns out there was another bullet left. It pierced Grillot's hand and lodged in his chest, narrowly missing major arteries and his spinal cord. He was hospitalized for weeks. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with medical expenses.

It turns out the two men shot in the bar were of Indian descent, both aviation engineers employed locally for years by Garmin. One of the men died of his injuries, the other was critically injured.

A few days ago, Grillot's decision to act was honored by the Indian-American community in Houston. He was presented with a check for $100,000 in recognition of  his "selfless act beyond the call of duty."

Grillot insists he just did what anyone else would have done. He couldn't live with himself if he didn't try to stop the shooter from continuing his rampage elsewhere. And the man who was critically injured? He's doing well, and looking forward to the future with his pregnant wife.

The shooter has been arrested and charged with first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder.

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