CALGARY — Ryan Korderas thinks he’s the luckiest unlucky man alive.
The 33-year-old plumber from Calgary was out celebrating on New Year’s Eve and was still up early the next morning when he offered to buy breakfast sandwiches for a bunch of friends. One pal offered to drive him to a nearby McDonald’s.
They were a half block away from the restaurant at about 5 a.m. when they drove past a big house party and slowed down. Korderas said there were lots of people standing outside and some were about to get into a waiting taxi.
Then it happened.
“We heard shots,” said Korderas. “But it was really like almost distant. It sounded, if anything, like it was a little cap gun or something.”
Sitting in the passenger seat, Korderas said he felt something hot on his buttock.
“I kind of joked — well, I wasn’t joking — but I said, ’I think I got hit.”’
Korderas said his friend didn’t believe him until they parked at McDonald’s.
“I jumped out of the car and looked at the door and, sure enough, there were two holes. At that point, we got kind of freaked out and just drove straight back to his house and called 911.”
Police would discover that seven others had been shot at the party. One of them, 26-year-old Abdullahi Ahmed, died in hospital.
Investigators have said they believe the shooting wasn’t random, but don’t know if a specific person at the party was an intended victim. On Thursday, they announced that an invited party guest was taken into custody as a suspect.
Korderas said he and his friend co-operated with officers but weren’t able to give them much information. Neither of them saw anyone with a gun.
Police did seize the car, though, along with any bullets that made their way inside.
Korderas said one bullet nicked his pants near his belt. He was left only with a scratch and a large bruise on his behind.
“I think I’m as lucky as I can get for being unlucky,” he said.
“What are the odds that you’re going to drive by that when it’s going on?”
Shortly after the shooting, Korderas posted a photo of the holes in the car door and a modest one of him sliding down his pants. He announced that he was able to cross getting shot off his bucket list.
Korderas said he hasn’t been worrying about what might have happened if the car had been going a little bit faster that morning, or if the bullet had been flying through the air at a different angle.
“I don’t really think (about) that stuff,” he said. “It happened. It’s over with.
“I’m still here.”