Ian Grillot says he didn’t hear what an angry man was saying as he verbally assaulted two Indian men at Austins Bar & Grill, but it was clear when he later came at them with a gun that he was targeting them.
In a meeting with reporters Tuesday, Mr. Grillot stopped short of labeling the shootings, in which an engineer for Garmin Ltd. was killed, a hate crime.
But “he went directly toward those men,” Mr. Grillot said Tuesday at the University of Kansas Hospital, where he is recovering from wounds he received in the shootings. “I can’t say it, but it seems pretty obvious what it was.”
Mr. Grillot said he would like President Donald Trump to mention the shooting in his address to Congress Tuesday night.
“It would be nice for some kind of closure,” he said.
The suspect, Adam Purinton, 51, was arrested early the next day at an Applebee’s in Clinton, Mo. after he allegedly told a bartender that he had just shot two Iranian men.
Purinton is charged with first-degree murder in the death that night of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, an Indian immigrant in this country on a special work visa.
Mr. Kuchibhotla’s Garmin co-worker, 32-year-old Alok Madasani of Overland Park, was wounded along with Mr. Grillot in the shooting that occurred around 7:15 p.m. at the family bar & grill near 151st Street and Mur-Len Road.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
Mr. Grillot, dressed in a hospital gown and speaking in a voice made raspy from his wounds, addressed worldwide media Tuesday at 11 a.m., shortly after the funeral for Srinivas Kuchibhotla ended Tuesday in India. Mr. Madasani was released from the hospital Thursday.
Mr. Grillot said he was overwhelmed by the international attention he has gotten since word spread that he jumped at the shooter to stop any more carnage.
He rejected the label “hero,” saying he was just doing what was right.
“We’re humans,” he said. “We should stick up for each other. We’re all we’ve got in this world.”
He urged people to turn away from hatred.
“Life is too short,” he said. “There is no reason for all the hate.”