OLATHE, Kan. — “It feels wonderful to be able to sleep in my own bed once again. It’s very nice.”
Ian Grillot, the man hailed as a hero in the tragic shooting at Austins Bar and Grill in Olathe, sat down with FOX 4’s Shannon O’Brien for an exclusive interview on Monday.
Grillot famously stepped in to try and stop suspected shooter Adam Purinton after he shot Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani.
Newly released court documents allege that Purinton asked Kuchibhotla and Madasani if they were in the country legally before he shot them.
Ian, along with his dad, told FOX 4 new details about that fateful night, and how their lives have changed since then.
Ian is now known across the world as the hero who chased Purinton out of the bar and was wounded trying to stop him.
But despite all the changes that have taken place since then, he’s just glad to be alive and to be back home.
“Without all the prayers and positive support from everybody, I wouldn’t be doing as well as I am right now,” Ian said. “It’s been a blessing.”
If not for the cast on his hand, one might not ever guess that less than a week and a half ago, Ian was fighting for his life.
“Thank you all so much,” Ian’s dad, Jim, said to all the people who helped his son.
He said it seemed like a lifetime from when he found out Ian had been shot to the moment a hospital found him in the ER waiting room with a message.
“‘I’m supposed to tell you, Ian says, ‘Love you,'” Jim recalled the hospital worker saying. “That’s all we heard for a while.”
When Ian’s parents finally got into the room to see him, the shock of seeing their son in his condition was softened a bit by what Ian first said to them.
“He’d got the blood all over him,” Jim recalled. “He looked up at me. ‘Did I do it right?’ I couldn’t answer him. I had too many tears in my eyes.”
“I don’t know if I could’ve lived with myself if I wouldn’t have stopped or attempted to stop him because that would’ve been completely devastating,” Ian said.
That decision to approach the shooter is one that has sent this former construction worker’s life on a completely new path.
“I do now have a very powerful message and if I can help empower people and spread hope and love, then why not? I mean, God obviously has a better, higher plan for me than what I was doing so I got to figure out what that is,” Ian said.
Ian said he is not going to squander his second chance at life.
He also spoke at length about visiting Austins after he was released from the hospital.
“It was very surreal revisiting the spots where I almost lost my life that fateful Wednesday night. It was difficult, but it was very, very good at the same time to be able to get closure on the situation, and not only that but there was a lot of other people who were struggling with this situation, seeing my face, being able for them to wrap their arms around me and give me a hug, I really helped put a lot of people at ease,” he said.
“That was very good to be able to do that because I knew there was a lot of people struggling just as I was, so being able to help with that was very nice because there’s a lot of people still struggling with it even after they have seen me, so it is just one of those things, one day at a time. It’s just very heartwarming to be able to see them and be able to thank them from the bottom of my heart, I wouldn’t be here without them. There would be two tragic losses that night at Austins, there wouldn’t be just the one. I am forever indebted to them, they saved my life.”