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Cris Kirkwood Shot

December 29, 2003 12:00 AM ET

Former Meat Puppets bassist Cris Kirkwood is in the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix after being shot in the abdomen by a post office security guard on Friday afternoon.

According to an FBI spokesperson, Kirkwood, 43, got into an argument with a thirty-two-year-old Phoenix woman over a parking space at the downtown post office. The woman reported Kirkwood to a security guard, who attempted to mediate the dispute.

"When Mr. Kirkwood became disruptive, he was asked to leave the building," FBI spokesperson Susan Atrskovits said. "As Mr. Kirkwood was exiting, he pushed the security guard in the chest." The guard took out his collapsible baton and again asked Kirkwood to leave. Kirkwood allegedly turned and punched the guard, who responded by hitting Kirkwood on the leg with his baton. In the ensuing struggle, Kirkwood is alleged to have taken the officer's baton and struck him on the left temple with it.

"Fearing for his life, the guard pulled his gun and fired one shot into the abdomen," Atrskovits said. Though an investigation is ongoing, it is possible that Kirkwood could face a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon in a federal facility.

Kirkwood founded the Meat Puppets with his older brother Curt in 1980, releasing a string of psychedelic country punk albums that influenced bands such as Nirvana, who covered three Meat Puppets songs on their 1994 album Unplugged in New York.

But Kirkwood battled substance abuse for more than a decade. He was jailed in 1999 for possession of drug paraphernalia, not long after Curt reformed the band with a new lineup. The 1999 arrest came after the overdose death of a longtime family friend and less than a year after the heroin-related death of Kirkwood's wife, Michelle Tardif.

According to a hospital spokesperson the injury is not thought to be life threatening.

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