Former Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick nearly became the next great rock tragedy, while walking with a friend on Sunset Boulevard.

Two stray bullets came within a couple of inches – or less – of killing him on Oct. 16, 2003, striking Kulick in the leg and head. "I was in shock, as it sounded like a car backfiring and felt like a hot poker went through my leg," Kulick wrote on his website. "I didn't know what happened until paramedics told me."

Kulick had just seen Vince Neil perform at a club near the Rainbow Bar and Grill in Hollywood, where a fight had left one man drunk, angry and holding a loaded 9MM. He started shooting wildly, and bullets ultimately struck Kulick's right thigh and grazed his temple. One other person was shot in the foot.

READ MORE: Top 10 Bruce Kulick Kiss Songs

The head wound was easily treated, while the medical team told Kulick the other bullet hit only flesh and muscle, not bone or arteries. By the time he got home, the news was all over CNN, MTV and wire services.

Listen to Bruce Kulick's 'I'll Survive'

'Very Lucky' to Survive After Shooting

MTV reported that the 21-year-old gunman was tackled by a club patron and then beaten up by several members of the crowd. He was also treated at the hospital before being released to police.

"I was very lucky in this matter, although I am in pain and uncertain how long recovery will take," he said back then. "It was certainly a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, walking in a public street, having no knowledge of any altercation in the vicinity."

The gunman was sentenced to 10 years in prison in February 2005, which the guitarist later indicated was shortened. "With the help of some dear friends," Kulick added, "I was able to heal quickly and survive a truly surreal experience."

He made a return to this scary scene on the track "I Survive," from his 2010 solo album BK3. After his 1984-96 stint in Kiss, Kulick went on to play guitar for Grand Funk Railroad.

Kiss Lineup Changes: A Complete Guide

An in-depth guide to all of the personnel changes undergone by the "hottest band in the land," Kiss.

Gallery Credit: Jeff Giles

Ranking Every Kiss Album

More From Classic Rock 105.1