"Please don't let this be it," the singer admits thinking during his recent carjacking

By Stephen M. Silverman
August 19, 2005 07:00 AM

In his first interview since surviving a gunshot to the head in a bungled Aug. 7 Denver carjacking, Grammy-winning singer Marc Cohn says he thought he was about to die.

“I touched myself and it was blood all over my hands, and my clothes,” Cohn recounted, according to excerpts of the interview released by ABC News, which will air the complete Q&A on Friday’s 20/20.

“And I realized I was the one who’d been hit,” he says. “Every second that passed by, I thought, ‘That’s the last one. That’s the last second I’ll be here,'” he said. “And it was terror, disbelief and just a prayer. ‘Please don’t let this be it.'”

Cohn, 46, best known for his hit song “Walking in Memphis,” is interviewed on the program with his wife, ABC News anchor and correspondent Elizabeth Vargas.

The singer had just finished a concert performance when a man fleeing on foot from police tried to seize the van he was riding in with bandmate Shane Fontaine and tour manager Thomas Dube.

When Dube refused to stop, the suspect fired into the vehicle, grazing Dube in the chin and striking Cohn in the temple, although the bullet did not penetrate his skull. Surgeons removed the slug a short time later, and Cohn was spared any permanent injury.

Says Vargas in the interview: “I think the thing I’ve learned about all of this is sensitivity to people who have experiences like this going forward.”

The suspected gunman, identified as Joseph Yachteen, 26, was arrested Aug. 8 after a standoff with police at an abandoned house in Denver.