By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Not much gets to Shannon Grendahl. Not even a near-death experience that feels like one in a million.

“I just go about my life the way it was, you know what I mean?” Grendahl said. “My friends were there looking at me and said, ‘You just got shot in the head.’ And I’m like, ‘And? What am I supposed to do?’”

Wednesday afternoon, a bloody bandage covered the deep scar on his scalp, carrying with it a story not too many people live to talk about.

On Friday, Aug. 7, at about 10 p.m., Grendahl was talking to neighbors outside his apartment building near Loring Park when shots rang out close by at the intersection of 15th and Willow streets.

“We just said, ‘I don’t even feel safe being anywhere else out at night,’ and then pop, pop, pop, pop, pop,” he said.

Shannon Grendahl (credit: CBS)

Suddenly, he said it felt like someone threw a baseball straight down onto his head, enough to make his spine compress. The hat he was wearing went flying behind him.

“I dropped down and I put my hand up and as soon as I put my hand up I just felt a long swath of skin that was no longer there. I just felt scalp. And I felt my bone and I felt a ridge in my bone,” Grendahl said.

Luckily, one of his neighbors is a paramedic who helped treat him until an ambulance arrived. Realizing it was just a deep graze across the top of his head, Grendahl remained calm. He even cracked smiles while taking pictures of his wound at the hospital.

“There’s different ways of seeing life. I mean, with enough life experience you develop a different worldview,” he said. “To me, the bullet hit me where it’s supposed to hit me, if that makes any sense.”

Dying wasn’t his biggest concern. He’s more worried about the spike in crime in the city he once felt was safe. At least two stabbings were reported Wednesday in and near Loring Park. Grendahl said the sound of gunshots are happening more frequently. In his opinion, it wasn’t a stray bullet. He said it was an attack.

“What we’re witnessing now is an assault on civil order, and that’s the one thing we can’t have,” he said.

That’s the exact conversation he was having before getting shot — one that nearly was his last.

“I mean, I would estimate quarter-inch lower and it would have been [fatal],” Grendahl said.

He said witnesses saw a white van drive away after the shooting. Others saw people running in a different direction.

Police are investigating the case and believe he was shot with a handgun. They don’t have suspect information to release as of Wednesday night.

Jeff Wagner

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