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