Kansas shooting intervener honoured, Kuchibhotla’s wife hails hate crime charges against shooter

Ian Grillot was honoured with Heroism award
Ian Grillot was honoured with Heroism award on May 28. Photo courtesy: Facebook @Ian Grillot

Ian Grillot, the man who intervened during the February 22 shooting in Olathe, Kansas, that killed Indian-American Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded another, was honoured with Heroism award on May 28 at the honoured with Heroism award on May 28 at the 23rd annual Punjabi-American Festival in Yuba City, California, hosted by the Punjabi American Heritage Society.

Sunayna Dumala, wife of techie Kuchibhotla, expressed her “relief” after federal hate crime charges were filed against the alleged shooter Adam Purinton.

Speaking to Kansas City Star newspaper, Dumala said she heard what she wanted to hear for a long time. “The federal charges brought a lot of relief in my heart,” Dumala said. “I got to hear what I wanted to hear,” the newspaper quoted her saying. “I’m glad that things are moving fast,” she further added.

Sunayna Dumala and Srinivas Kuchibhotla.
Sunayna Dumala (left) and Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Photo courtesy: Facebook @Sunayna Dumala

Dumala, who returned her suburban home in Olathe after Kuchibhotla’s funeral in India, said she was greeted with “piles of letter for support”, which made her feel that her return was justified. After her husband’s death, Dumala had asked in a Facebook post, “Do we belong?” Answering her own question, she told the newspaper that she is starting to believe she does belong in the country. “I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I received from different corners,” Dumala said. “It made us believe we do belong,” she added.

Also read: Srinivas’s wife Sunayana’s heart-wrenching post on Facebook, wants to return to US

Dumala said much more still needs to be done to eradicate hate from the country. She further said she hopes the federal trial against the shooting suspect will highlight the need to address bigotry against foreign-born citizens in US and may bring an end to hate crimes in the country. “People cannot just take everything for granted,” the newspaper quoted her saying.

Adam Purinton, 51, was indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly shooting Srinivas Kuchibhotla resulting in his death at a Kansas City bar in February 2017. He was also charged with wounding Kuchibhotla’s friend, Alok Madasani in the incident and also injuring a US citizen Ian Grillot who tried to intervene. Police have arrested the suspected on first-degree murder charges.