Michael Kiefer of The Arizona Republic reports that Cris Kirkwood, former bass player for the MEAT PUPPETS, an influential Phoenix band that became a national act in the 1980s and '90s, was shot Friday (December 26) after an altercation with a security guard at the downtown Phoenix post office.
Kirkwood, 43, was taken in critical condition to Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center and whisked into surgery for an abdominal wound.
According to witnesses, Kirkwood quarreled over a parking space shortly before 5 p.m. in front of the post office at Central Avenue and Fillmore Street.
Kirkwood was apparently backing into the parking space on Central when Jenny Hom, 32, of Phoenix, attempted to pull into it from behind.
Hom honked her horn, then both drivers pulled into a parking lot.
Hom said that Kirkwood, whom she did not identify by name, followed her and stopped her on the sidewalk outside the post office, yelling obscenities at her.
"He shrugged his shoulder as if he was going to hit me," she said. "He didn't hit me."
Hom went into the post office and reported the man's behavior to a security guard. The guard escorted the man out.
Kevin Killigrew of the FBI said Kirkwood shoved the guard twice.
The guard "took out the baton and held it out in front of him and said, 'You need to leave,' " Killigrew said. "The guy took the baton from him and struck him at least one time in the forehead at which time the guard felt fear for his life. He said, 'I thought the guy was going to kill me.' He already displayed that he would hurt him, and the guard shot him one time in the abdomen."
Shortly after the incident, the guard was sitting dazed on the steps of the post office. Kirkwood's clothing sat in a pool of blood on the sidewalk.
"I never shot anyone before," the guard told police.
Kirkwood and his brother Curt fronted the MEAT PUPPETS, who had several hit records in the 1980s and '90s, and were cited as an influence for bands such as NIRVANA.
The MEAT PUPPETS released eight CDs and won a gold record in 1994 for "Too High To Die".