Grammy-winning singer Marc Cohn, in his first interview since surviving a gunshot to the head in a bungled carjacking last week, recalled thinking in the frantic moments that followed that every second was “the last one.”
Cohn, 46, best known for his hit song “Walking in Memphis,” recounted the terrifying ordeal in an interview with ABC’s “20/20” program scheduled to air Friday. He is married to ABC News anchor and correspondent Elizabeth Vargas.
Cohn had just finished a concert performance in Denver on Aug. 7 when a man fleeing on foot from police tried to commandeer the van he was riding in with bandmate Shane Fontaine and tour manager Thomas Dube.
When Dube, who was driving, refused to stop, the suspect fired into the vehicle, grazing Dube in the chin and striking Cohn in the temple, although the bullet did not penetrate his skull. Surgeons removed the slug a short time later, and Cohn was spared any permanent injury.
At the moment of the shooting, however, Cohn recalled thinking he might be dying.
“I touched myself and it was blood all over my hands, and my clothes,” Cohn recounted, according to excerpts of the interview released Thursday by ABC News.
“And I realized I was the one who’d been hit ... every second that passed by, I thought, ‘That’s the last one. That’s the last second I’ll be here,”’ he said. “And it was terror, disbelief and just a prayer. ‘Please don’t let this be it.”’
Cohn said he remained frantic for at least an hour, when a CAT scan taken at the hospital revealed the wound was superficial.
“I mean I saw that there was exactly enough room in the soft tissue between ... the outside of my face and the beginning of my skull, there was just enough room to hold that bullet,” he said.
Added Fontaine, “My first thought on seeing it, and I turned to him, I go, ‘Wow, that’s a great album cover.’ And he was able to laugh about it, too.”
The suspected gunman, identified as Joseph Yachteen, 26, was arrested the next day after a standoff with police at an abandoned house in Denver.