Southwest Side tattoo artist says he was nearly killed in stabbing

West Lawn tattoo artist says stabbing nearly killed him

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A well-known tattoo artist was forced to close his shop temporarily after he says he nearly died in front of it.

He was stabbed this past Saturday while working in the West Lawn neighborhood. On Thursday night, he opened up to CBS 2's Marybel González.

Shred's Inferno Custom Tattoos, 4304 W. 63rd St., is normally bustling with clients. A tattoo machine is always buzzing.

But on Thursday, that popular tattoo shop in West Lawn was eerily quiet – empty and closed until further notice. That is because its owner, David Kunesh – known as Shred – was stabbed there this past Saturday.

"I was ready to meet God at that point," Shred said. "Everybody is freaking out."

Shred spoke to us just hours after being released from the hospital. González asked him how he was feeling.

"Weak – very weak," he said. "A lot of problems with my lungs."

Police arrested 45-year-old Jon Lasso in connection to the assault.

Shred said it all started when Lasso came into his shop as he normally does – Lasso is homeless, and often cleans the shop's windows for money.

But on the day it happened, Shred said Lasso became erratic when Shred's son asked him to leave. A fight broke out outside the shop.

"When I looked up again, he had punched my son," Shred said.

Shred – trying to protect his son – ran over to where they both were.

"All of a sudden, he was stabbing me," said Shred. "I was gushing blood profusely."

Shred's son, David Jr., met us at the shop.

"I just hope that he knows that he hurt a real good man, and someone that really cares about the community," said David Jr.

For over 26 years, Shred has left his mark on people with his signature bold art.

"He's tattooed really cool people," said David Jr. "He's tattooed Derrick Rose from the Bulls."

Shred's son is hoping to see his dad get back to what he loves.

"I just want to see him happy again," said David Jr.

Outside of Shred's tattoo shop, you will find signs plastered on the door with a QR code to a GoFundMe page that the family has set up for his hospital bills and to keep his shop afloat.

But the violent incident has left the family shaken, and Shred questions if he will remain in Chicago now.

"It's going to be a little bit of soul-searching the next few weeks, and seeing what I want to do," he said. "Do I want to be chased off by that, or do I want to start a new chapter?" 

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