Singer Marc Cohn Describes Terrifying Shooting

ByABC News
August 18, 2005, 5:30 PM

Aug. 18, 2005 — -- Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn tells "20/20" he recalls "a sense of danger" when he and his band mates left a concert performance in Denver just over a week ago.

In an exclusive interview on "20/20," Cohn and his band members describe the harrowing Aug. 7 carjacking attempt that left them shaken and left Cohn with a bullet wound in his head.

Cohn said he remembers seeing a man in the distance running on their way back to their hotel after their concert. Moments later the man pointed a gun directly at their van. Cohn recalls shouting "duck," just before a shot was fired.

"There wasn't any time to react to that. Before I knew it, he had aimed and he had fired a shot which I knew had broken glass. I knew it had to have come through the windshield," said Cohn's tour manager Tom Dubé.

"I touched myself and there was blood all over my hands and my clothes. 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," Cohn told "20/20."

Cohn, who won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1991 and is best-known for his hit songs "Walking in Memphis" and "True Companion," is married to "20/20's" Elizabeth Vargas.

Confused and frightened, Cohn and his companions tried desperately to get away. "I hear Shane [Fontayne,] who's in the back, yelling at Jay to try to gain control of the wheel. I think he assumed that if anybody had been shot, it was the driver. ... So I went and grabbed the wheel," said Cohn.

"I recall crossing what must be 15th Street and running the red light there. And avoiding a collision with somebody that was traveling into, into the intersection. It wasn't too long after that I heard Marc say, 'My God, I think I've been hit,' " Dubé said.

The bullet didn't just graze Cohn; it struck him in the head. Band member Fontayne said, "I could see a perfectly round hole in his head, which I knew had to be a bullet. He was looking to me for reassurance, and he was speaking of his family, his wife and his children and that he didn't want to die, you know?"