POISON Frontman Discusses Drive-By Shooting Incident

POISON frontman Bret Michaels called into Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM this past Friday, November 25 to discuss the the incident Monday night (Nov. 21) when his tour bus was fired at in a drive-by shooting in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The following is Michaels' account of what transpired that night (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET):

"The show was obviously sold out, the fans were there all day and it was a big party. And we literally were sitting outside of the venue in the tour bus and it was about one hour before I walked on stage. I went to the back to the bus — the bedroom, so to speak — and literally started getting ready for the show. I sat down, I was ready to call my daughters on the phone, Raine and Jorja, and say 'Good night.' And I literally sat down on the seat on the bed and the next thing I know, I just heard this sound. It was the sound of a gunshot and a little bit of sprayed glass and there was a hole in the curtain, the thing that comes down. And I just, all of a sudden… It was surreal. I laid down on the floor, and I didn't freak out, and I didn't panic. I just laid on the floor and I waited for the next thing to happen. It was such a loud sound that at first I thought it might have been a car wreck or… You're not sure what it was. It's not like the movies where there's any big build-up — that's what I was trying telling people. I laid down, the driver came running down the hallway, the bass player was on the bus and one of the crew guys, and everyone was just laying on the floor. And we were just like, 'What in the hell is going on?' I said, 'I have no idea.' I looked at them and I called forward and said, 'Guys, am I shot? Am I… I don't know what's going on.' And then there was silence… I heard the car screech away and then silence and then mass commotion because there was two police officers on the scene, because people were arguing over tickets and who was in line first. All of a sudden, the police were on the scene, people were screaming, 'They're in that car.' It was a white Ford F-150 pick-up truck, with a big silver toolbox in the back, which to me doesn't sound like a typical gang-banger car. I don't ever wanna speculate or play detective, but the police… And let me go further, what really got me upset is… The police on the scene did a wonderful job, let me state that — they marked everything off, they got photos, they did everything they needed to do, they shut down the road, they got the fans out of harm's way, which is what I was really concerned about. I'm like, 'You've gotta get everyone into the club or out or whatever.' And then all of a sudden as they started to break it down, one of the guys from ABC had just come from a murder that day in Springfield a couple of blocks away, and he thought it was a car wreck. So he's filming everything and doing all this stuff, and it was just really surreal — that's the best way I can describe it. But what upset me is, apparently this morning captain — and I believe his name is William Jebb — of the police department — said that that 'We believe this was a random drive-by shooting act of vandalism.' Now, I don't know about you, but correct me if I wrong… He said, 'We're downplaying this as nothing more than a random act of vandalism and a drive-by shooting.' Now, vandalism, to me, is someone spray-painting 'You suck' on the side of the bus. Or maybe letting air out of a tire… And I said this to them… I really was angry because I've been working really close to try to find out who this is. And this infuriated me. I said, 'Let me get this right so I understand…' If a police officer who… Let's be honest, I'm one of the few rockers who heavily supports our troops, our law enforcement, our fire department. I mean, they do a damn good job in a crazy world. I just felt a little upset… And I'm only isolating this incident that they would issue something downplaying it as an act of vandalism… They said an act of vandalism, that the witnesses witnessed a guy pull a gun out of… they saw the gun come out of the car — it was a pistol — then fire and drive away. Now call me crazy, but first of all, he shot into the window of a living quarters. It wasn't like he shot a tire or the bottom of the bus. And let me even get angrier for a minute… Then they go on to say, 'We have no suspects. We haven't found a lead on a suspect except we know the vehicle he was driving.' I said, 'So you don't know…' — this was my argument with them — I said, 'You don't know who the suspect is, but you're pretty sure… you're positive it was just a random drive-by shooting that was random.' I said, 'Let me ask you, if you're a police officer sitting in a car and I drive by or the suspect drives by in a F-150 and fires into your car window, would you call that an act of vandalism or would you be pretty upset about it.' I mean, try to put it… I said, 'Wear my shoes for a minute.' I realize these guys see a lot of horrific acts of violence — I get it. I'm not asking for them to shut down the police department and say, 'You've gotta only do my case,' I'm just asking for a little bit of respect and helping me track down who this might be. The town of Chicopee is not that big, this was an unannounced show that only one radio station did, and then to fire a gun into your window of you bus? I feltif I had my kids on here and anything would have happened, they would need a tank to stop me. I mean, they would have to shoot me with a grenade… They would have to use a rocket-powered grenade to take me down. It was just surreal. And I don't wanna go on and on about this, 'cause I'm alive — all of us are alive — and we went on that night, and I said to the ABC News guy, 'Listen, this is an act of a coward, a spineless coward, and he's not gonna stop us from continuing to live our lives.' I said, 'If he's got any balls, he'll come down and meet me face to face and I'll be glad to discuss this with him.'"

On playing Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio (the same club where Dimebag was murdered in December 2004) a couple of nights after this shooting incident:

"I sat there at the Alrosa, I walked in on that stage and I looked around, and I kind of took it all in and obviously for many reasons — not just what happened to me, but what happened there. It was the first time they had a sold-out show there since what happened. He [the club's owner] said, 'People were scared to come back to the venue,' which… rightfully so. What was weird was I went on stage and did this very nice speech before 'Something to Believe In' about Dimebag, about all the crew, the victims, the manager, the other innocent people in the audience, and he said that that's the first time that anyone's ever really mentioned it. And I said, 'I find that ubelievable,' for someone that was… And as anyone who knew him knew he was a great soul, and just to have some whack-job like that with a whole war going on in his head… It's pretty freaky."

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