Landry feels 'lucky to be alive'

HOUSTON -- Houston Rockets forward Carl Landry said he felt "blessed and lucky to be alive" the day after he was shot in the left leg near his home.

Landry was wounded around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, about two hours after the team returned from a victory in New Orleans. According to police, a car with two occupants hit Landry's sports utility vehicle twice on a city street, forcing Landry's vehicle into a utility pole. When Landry got out of his vehicle to inspect the damage, one of the occupants fired two shots.

Police said one of the suspects chased Landry briefly on foot, then fled. There was a female passenger in Landry's SUV and she was not injured.

The 6-foot-9 Landry said Wednesday that he ran about six blocks and hid between a house and a fence. He then started frantically ringing doorbells and someone finally answered and called police, about 90 minutes after the shooting.

"I could have been dead," Landry said. "The shooter was 10 yards or less away. I'm 6-9 and I had a bright shirt on. I don't know how he missed, but thank God he did and he hit the lower part of my leg."

The Rockets said the injury was minor and expected Landry to miss only one to three weeks.

"I could have been dead," Landry said, "and you guys wouldn't be interviewing me today. You'd be talking about the funeral that you were going to go to in a couple of days. I'm blessed and lucky to be alive."

Houston played Detroit on Wednesday night. When Landry arrived at the morning shootaround, his teammates broke into applause.

"You always see that type of stuff on TV and you hear about it on the newspaper or watch the news," Landry said. "But you never think it can happen to you. It was really scary when the bullets were flying. I'm just glad that it hit me in a place where I could continue to run and get away."

Landry said he can't get the incident off his mind. He started sweating while talking to reporters about the shooting on Wednesday.

"I was out there in between the fence and the house, bleeding to death," Landry said. "My blood was coming. I never bled that much in my life. Blood was coming out of my leg so fast. I was just hoping and thanking God that I didn't pass out.

"Hey, I'm here and I've got a smile on my face."

Landry, in his second season, has become a valuable player off the bench for Houston, averaging 9.3 points and five rebounds per game. He scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds in Monday's 95-84 win over the Hornets.

"I'm so glad he's fine," said Houston center Yao Ming. "I'm very, very happy to see him here. He's OK and still healthy."