The Associated Press is reporting that POISON singer Bret Michaels escaped serious injury after shots were fired at his tour bus last night (Nov. 21) in Chicopee, Massachusetts, his publicist confirmed.
Michaels was in town to perform a rare, invitation-only acoustic show, when, prior to the show, shots were fired from a white Ford F-150 while Michaels was still on the tour bus, according to witnesses. Michaels was struck in the face by flying broken glass, but escaped serious injury.
Michaels issued the following statement immediately following the incident: "It is going to take more then a cowardice act like this to make me stop performing or stop my tour. I plan on staying out and finishing the shows as scheduled. I want to thank all of my fans in the Chicopee area for staying out last night, and I will be back. Hopefully, with the help of many people, we will catch the person who did this and they will be brought to justice."
Local police do not feel this was a random drive-by shooting due to the shots being fired directly into the living quarters at the rear of the tour bus. Shell casings from the weapon have not been recovered from the scene at this point. Further information will be released as it becomes available.
Chicopee police officers Phil Russ and David Gagnon immediately secured the scene, closed down the street and began interviewing witnesses, including ABC News cameraman John Ticard, who had just arrived to cover the event. Mr. Ticard stated, "I heard a loud bang and then glass shattering. I thought it was a car accident at first, but as I approached the bus I realized that it wasn't an accident, someone had shot at Mr. Michaels' bus, and it was the glass of the window shattering."
A reward has been announced for any information leading to the arrest of the person or persons involved in the abovementioned incident. Information can be given directly to the Chicopee Police Department at 413-592-6341, or tips can be submitted via Michaels' website, www.bretmichaels.com.
According to Michaels' management office, HK Management in Los Angeles, this is not the first police or federal investigation that Michaels has been at the center of. Throughout his career, Michaels has been the target of numerous death threats investigated by the FBI. A person identifying himself as Mark Kram fired 9 mm bullets through photos of Michaels and mailed them, along with threatening notes to several arenas in which Michaels was scheduled to perform. Investigators believe the suspect in that particular case lives in the Northeastern United States. The police were also called to investigate when a tire came off of the truck that Michaels was driving after attending a concert in California. In that case, someone had loosened the lug nuts on the vehicle, causing Michaels to wreck in the middle of a busy freeway following the event.