Tuscaloosa tattoo artist shot while celebrating New Year's Eve - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa tattoo artist shot while celebrating New Year's Eve

Paul Thomas. Photo provided by family Paul Thomas. Photo provided by family

A Tuscaloosa tattoo artist is recovering at UAB hospital after being shot in Birmingham while ringing in the new year.

"One of the most genuine people I ever met. Do anything for a friend within his power. A good dad," Rosaland Daniels said.

Daniels has known Paul Thomas for almost six years. Evol Ink in Tuscaloosa is the second tattoo shop the two have worked at together.

"He has the worst luck when he goes out. He was hit by a car last year. He's been stabbed. He's invincible and he's a fighter. I think this proves it," Daniels said.

Early Tuesday morning just after ringing in the new year, Birmingham police say Thomas was in a bar on the Southside when an altercation with the man suspected of shooting Thomas broke out. That shooting suspect was kicked out but waited outside for Thomas and his friends and when they exited, Thomas was shot.

"There was a point when we thought we'd lost him," Daniels said.

Now friends like Daniels are coming together to show Thomas their support and try to raise the funds to cover his medical bills and help support his girlfriend and two kids. Thomas is uninsured.

"Put together a benefit page on Facebook taking donations. Everything is going to his family because he's the bread winner and will be out of commission," Daniels said.

Daniels says this immediate outpouring of support speaks volumes about who Thomas is.

"That says a lot about the person he was that he can have hundreds of friends that he's left such a good mark on all of them," she said.

Donations for Thomas are being accepted at Evol Ink in Tuscaloosa or through PayPal at paulthomasbenefit@gmail.com. A benefit concert has also been organized. It will be at The Nick in Birmingham Jan. 10. Police have not released the suspect's name pending charges.

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