A legendary tattoo artist with a host of celebrity clients has told of his ink-credible escape from gunmen in Brazil.
Jonathan Dowling Shaw, 68 – who has inked stars like Depp, Kate Moss and Iggy Pop – was blasted in the leg in a Rio taxi after leaving a bureau de change with his wife.
Shaw – the son of bandleader Artie Shaw – was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery.
He later said on social media: “Meanwhile in Brazil, just getting out the hospital today [Friday, 8th April] after emergency surgery for a gunshot wound. Long story. Just grateful for surviving another day in Rio de Janeiro, thank God.”
The drama happened as he was leaving a bureau de change in the Lapa neighbourhood.
Shaw was in a rideshare cab with his Brazilian wife, Vera de Arruda Perrone, when two men approached on a motorbike.
According to reports, he had just exchanged USD 500 (GBP 384) in cash and deposited most of the money in his bank account, keeping BRL 500 (GBP 82) in cash on his person.
After purchasing a few items, the American tattoo artist only had BRL 200 (GBP 33) when the thieves confronted him.
He was reportedly shot in the leg when the armed robbers asked for more money.
The thieves took off with Shaw’s BRL 200 and he was transferred to Souza Aguiar Municipal Hospital, where he underwent an operation and has since been discharged.
Police spokesperson Bruno Gilaberte said: “Fingerprints were collected on the vehicle and security cameras are under analysis.
“In addition, the victim has already been heard, as well as witnesses.
“We also notified the US Consulate for the proper assistance to the American, who is a resident of Rio de Janeiro.”
Shaw has lived in Brazil since 2004.
He founded New York’s oldest inking parlour – Fun City Tattoos – in 1976, while they were still banned in the city.
Shaw went on to found the Death Is Certain Club with Johnny Depp, moviemaker Jim Jarmusch and rocker Iggy Pop in 1990.
He sold Fun City in 2002, five years after tattooing was legalised, and retired from the profession in 2004 to concentrate on writing in his new home in Brazil.
Pop once described him as “the great anti-hero nightmare of the new age”.
Shaw published his memoir ‘Confessions of a Tattoo Artist’ in 2017.