Mark Rush, Legendary T-Shirt Artist, Shot in the Head

I’ve known Mark Rush, renowned T-shirt artist, for nearly 30 years, and I was shocked to hear that he was shot in the head recently at his home in Panama City Beach, Florida.  T-shirt airbrushing gained a super boost in popularity from Rush’s cover feature in the now defunct Airbrush Digest in 1982. The following is an excerpt from an online report:

August 2, 2010
PANAMA CITY BEACH — Seconds after a trespasser put a gun between his eyes, 57-year-old Mark Rush shoved the gun up and it went off, slicing through his skull.  “It felt like a branding iron going through the top of my head,” Rush said Monday from his hospital bed. “I immediately put my hand up there to see if my brains were hanging out.”

But the struggle between Rush, a Panama City Beach resident, and an as-yet-unidentified suspect, did not end with the first shot. As Rush was down from the gunshot wound, the suspect, who had entered Rush’s yard uninvited, was now in his house and going through his things.  “He was twitchy as hell the whole time,” Rush said. “He kept yelling like he was on something.”

For Rush, who was bleeding heavily, the situation looked dire. “I thought, ‘No shit, this is it.”  And the trespasser was not done.  “He said, ‘I shot you once; I’ll shoot you again,’ ” Rush recalled. “Then he shot another round. He missed me.”

Despite his injury, Rush managed to tackle the trespasser. “I figured, if I can get ahold of his gun again, I can turn it on him. It’s my only chance,” he said.  After a subsequent struggle, Rush, who has a concealed carry permit and owns several guns and other weapons, the assailant fled. “I didn’t follow him out ’cause I figured he could shoot at me again,” he added. At that point, Rush called 911. His harrowing Sunday afternoon that began with a strange visitor in his yard ended with a trip to the hospital.

“The neurosurgeons today said I was really, really lucky,” Rush said. He has 50 stitches in his head and blood on his brain, he added.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. They say the suspect is a white male in his mid to late 20s, about 6 feet tall, weighing 150 to 175 pounds, and has big ears, bad teeth and a thin face. He has medium-length dark hair, a tattoo on his left arm of a sword or a cross, and possibly a tattoo on his right leg. Authorities said a reward likely will be offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

We at Airbrush Action wish the best for Mark’s recovery and future.

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About Airbrush Action

The Official Blog of Airbrush Action Magazine. We provide you everything related to the art of airbrushing and the culture. We offer an online and offline magazine, airbrush workshops and courses, video and DVDs, books, merchandise, and an airbrushing community forum.
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13 Responses to Mark Rush, Legendary T-Shirt Artist, Shot in the Head

  1. N. Tice says:

    This person needs to be caught and brought to justice, whatever that may be! I would like to reiterate the distinguishable marks as indicated again. This individual is most likely a drug user (ie. Bad teeth) and hangs around these losing circles.

    “suspect is a white male in his mid to late 20s, about 6 feet tall, weighing 150 to 175 pounds, and has big ears, bad teeth and a thin face. He has medium-length dark hair, a tattoo on his left arm of a sword or a cross, and possibly a tattoo on his right leg.”

    We wish Mark a complete recovery and would hope that the community supports him and his business should they be in the market for his art.

  2. Walter says:

    Mark I pray for your speedy recovery, and hope this guy gets caught soon!!!

  3. DragonAir says:

    I wish Mark a fast recovery. From what I have read sounds lie the intruder was on meth,twitchy,bad teeth, looking for money.As an EMT I have seen that type a lot unfortunately. I pray they find the coward and give him what he has coming.

  4. DragonAir says:

    I wish Mark a fast recovery. From what I have read sounds like the intruder was on meth,twitchy,bad teeth, looking for money.As an EMT I have seen that type a lot unfortunately. I pray they find the coward and give him what he has coming.

  5. Louie Garcia says:

    Hang in there Mr. Rush, I thank God for your reactions, because we could have lost one of the great artist. We don’t have many, you all know who you are, the teachers of the world in art. They say that art is a dieing in this world, in this case death failed. For that, we who strive to make our art better can now appriciate those who teach us. Get well soon Mr. Rush, and may the Lord be with you always. Louie Garcia Dw drums.

  6. Ray Siqueiros says:

    Wow! I am so glad Mark is OK. I hope they catch that low life. It goes to show just how fragile our lives are; it can happen to anyone of us and I’m praying for a speedy recovery.

  7. Dan says:

    Unbeleiveble. Mark I wish you the very best in a speedy and God Blessed recovery my friend. We live in a crazy world full of people that need our help. My wish is that this guy is found and brought to justice. Mark, hang tough! I too had a very severe head injury 2 years ago Im having surgery on my spinal cord in Jan, It takes time to recover from this type of injury stay positive.

    God Bless,
    Dan.

  8. victor alosi says:

    you will get well and recover .

  9. Silverback says:

    My Prayers go out to you Mark And remember chicks dig scares. Get well soon

  10. cuz says:

    This is the reason that our Government should stop trying to take our handguns away.
    We have the right to defend ourselves, You never know when some SCUM is going to try to break in your house , or rape your family, or try to kill you for a few bucks.

    I support Gun onwership 100% . I hope and Pray that Mark revovers quickly.

    Now , if our Government will get serious on cracking down on crime
    EXECUTE people who murder, or rape others. I guarantee when the SCUM out there understands that it will mean an instant end to their life, some of this Crap will stop.

    If your a Bible reader , and you tell me Killing is wrong, you better learn to read your Bible better and learn Hebrew. ( MURDER ) is wrong. Killing is not wrong. There is a difference. If you have common sense you will now understand How God said to handle these kind of crimes. “Thou Shalt not Kill ” is a mis – tanslation it says ” Thou shalt not Murder ”

    Anyway
    Wish you all the best Mark
    Cuztumfx from Ohio

  11. Carla says:

    Best wishes and many prayers for Mark’s quick recovery! It is getting bad when you can’t even be in your own home without a lunatic just waltzing in to try and rob and kill you….Bad elements, man….

  12. john guate says:

    first of all prayers to you mark rush for a full recovery!!
    2nd this punk ass crack head need to be caught and put in jail with the big men!

    mark i have met many airbrush artists in my life but brotha you are the OG!
    and one the nicest people i have ever met! take care man and heal up quick!
    john guate

  13. niki knuckles says:

    That’s horrible news! We sometimes feel as if the challenges we are given in life are unfair. However, nothing can compare to what happened Mark Rush. He’s definitely a real fighter. I’m happy for him that he’s doing well now.

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