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Man describes kidnapping before being shot after the Fiesta Bowl

Posted at 10:24 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 07:39:09-04

PHOENIX — A California man says he has no plans to return to the Valley anytime soon after a nightmare visit where he was carjacked, kidnapped, and then shot.

"After the bullet went in me, I thought it was life or death," said Anthony Grad.

Just hours before he thought he might die, Grad was at the Fiesta Bowl to cheer on his Ohio State Buckeyes.

After the game and an air mattress malfunction, Grad was asleep in his car in south Phoenix when someone knocked.

"They said, 'You're in my reserved parking spot,'" recalled Grad. "As soon as I rolled [the window] down halfway, the gun came into my head."

"My thoughts were, 'Oh no, I’m getting robbed. Just do what they say and everything’s going to be okay.'"

So he complied and handed over his phone, wallet, and keys, but the three teens forced him into the backseat of his Jeep.

The teens drove Anthony around for two hours, stopping at a gas station and making multiple ATM withdrawals.

They eventually stopped at a dirt field, where Anthony says the teens smoked marijuana and forced him out of the car towards the dirt field.

"Both of them were still wearing masks... and they told me to slowly back up facing them," said Grad. "And that is when I saw the guns raised and I just took off."

He started zig-zagging.

"I was hit one time. I felt it, as soon as it went in," he said.

Adrenaline kept Grad sprinting to a nearby front door.

"It's Anthony. I've been shot. Call 911," he pleaded.

The Phoenix firefighter who answered the door was skeptical.

"We just argued, going back and forth," he said.

Grad spent minutes lying on the front porch waiting for paramedics. Fortunately, he was able to make it to the hospital. The bullet only chipped his pelvis.

"If the bullet would've gone two inches to the right, they would be doing a murder investigation," said Grad, who is upset that the suspect, Roderick Smith, and the other teens are not charged with attempted murder.

"Their intent was to kill me," he said.

But months later, Grad is just happy that someone answered the door and he is alive to tell his story.

"I have a whole new appreciation about everything. You don't know how fast it can all be taken from you," he said.