Grammy-winning rapper recounts being shot during attempted robbery

ST. LOUIS – Fox 2/News 11 had an exclusive interview with a Grammy-winning musician from St. Louis, who was shot during an attempted robbery downtown last month.

Fans around the world know him as "Thi'sl", a Christian hip-hop artist.

Travis Tyler, 41, is a father of 8.

He’s lucky to be alive.

Bullet fragments missed a key artery but shattered his right femur (thigh bone).

He had a rod inserted into it.

He’s still home-bound and using a walker but a lot better than his first steps in a hospital room 2 weeks ago.

“It was torture,” Tyler said.

It’s fallout from the very things he sings about:  finding a better way than the police scenes, shattered glass, and bullet casings.

Just after midnight September 24th, he was shot at during a robbery attempt on Washington Avenue, near 15th,  with only $10 dollars in his pocket.

He was shot walking away from the suspect and might have been killed had he not returned fire, he said.  The suspect took off in a car with two other men.  It was unclear whether he was hurt.

There’s been no word from police on an arrest.

Tyler isn’t worried about the man, believed to have in his 20’s, being sent to jail.

“What if he would have robbed me, shot me, killed me, and all I had was $10 in my pocket?  You’d have been in jail for the rest of your life for nothing,” Tyler said.  “That’s not what you were born to do.  That’s not why God created you.  Let me help you do something else and show you a real way to live.  Let me show you how to be a man.”

He’d taken a break from music to focus on his work with the group Mission St. Louis, helping people get jobs after they’re released from prison.

He’d been doing just that the day he was shot.

Now, he senses a return to songwriting, inspired more than ever to do more than just ‘talk the talk’.

He also already ‘walking the walk’, even though it may still be 2-3 months before he’s truly back on his feet.

“I’m broke up but my spirit, my soul, is the same,” he said.  “All this did was create something else in me to say, ‘I’m going to continue to help men, especially young black man, see something better.’  I’m not looking for (the shooter).  I’m not mad at him.  I’m not none of that. I’m worried about the outcome of what it is was supposed to produce in me.  I hope he runs into the same thing I did:  the grace of the Lord Jesus and it rocks his world and turns him around.”

There is a GoFundMe account to help with his recovery expenses.