HOUSTON: 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 USD 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 targetting 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 here.
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 USD 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 USD 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 honored 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 center 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.