Joe Nocera for The New York Times: After the Shooting

June 12th, 2013

The New York Times
by Joe Nocera
June 12, 2013

AUSTIN, Tex. — Fifteen years ago, on April 20, 1998, Jan Reid and three of his friends got into a cab in Mexico City. The four men were all affiliated with Texas Monthly, a magazine I’d worked for early in my career, which is how I knew Jan. They were in Mexico to attend a prize fight.

As Jan would later recount in his fine memoir, “The Bullet Meant for Me,” as soon as he got into the cab, he thought, “This doesn’t look right.” He quickly realized that the cab was being followed. The driver pulled over and allowed men in the other car to climb into the cab. They were brandishing guns.

After another short ride, during which Jan was pistol-whipped, the driver stopped, and the Americans were ordered out of the car. One of them ran for his life. In the chaos of the moment, Jan acted instinctively: He threw a punch at the gunman. The punch missed. The man shot Jan, who threw up his arm to block the bullet. It went directly through Jan’s arm and down into his abdomen, stopping just short of his spinal cord. He screamed in agony. “I thought it was curtains,” he told me recently.

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