Detectives were still at Stover's house when he returned home from a 12-hour hospital visit. In the ensuing days, Stover said he likened his life to that of someone who hit Powerball. News of the crime — and the circumstance of surviving a shot to the back of the neck — traveled fast, and far.

"I had to take my phone off the hook for a couple of weeks because, you see, I don't have a secretary or personal assistant," he joked. "I couldn't have gotten anything done. Everyone you ever knew is calling."

People reached out on Facebook, sent emails and instant messages and delivered notes. One neighbor dropped off a cake, and though Stover wrote a thank you note, he's still not entirely sure who they are.

The shooting made particular waves in the local film community, in part because of Stover's roles in the early films of Baltimore film icon Waters' early films. A retired state employee, Stover has found time to appear in 59 movies, including local low-budget sci-fi and horror guru Don Dohler's "Blood Massacre" and Waters' "Female Trouble" and "Hairspray."

Stover had reached out to Waters, with whom he shared a homeroom at Towsontown Junior High in eighth grade, after seeing Waters lament in a news story that he couldn't find actors to play, "teacher and parents and normal looking people."

Stover took acting classes in college and was acting in local plays at the time, but his first role in "Female Trouble" led to a small bit of renown in Waters' larger cultural glow.

"I did these low-budget movies, but I had a day job," he said.

Waters tried to call Stover after the shooting, though he settled for a postcard when he couldn't get through.

Recently, Stover took up an acting role again, in "The Bone Garden," a gory horror movie that was filmed at the Lutherville home of a pair of Towson University professors.

Stover said the fake blood and guts and violence on set didn't disturb him at all. Nor did the idea that he still lived in the house that was burglarized twice by the man who shot him, though he has beefed up his security, he said.

Again, he cited his love of film for helping him move on. In the pictures he loves so much, people don't cry or seek counseling after catching a bullet.

So why would he?

While Stover heaped praise on police and emergency responders, as well as the prosecutors who handled his case, his only bitterness from the situation is directed at the state's correctional system.

According to a release from State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger's office, Stover's shooting was the fourth violent crime conviction for Holup. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1983 for second-degree rape, and was out on parole in 1990 when he was convicted of assault with intent to kill in Baltimore City.

Holup was sentenced to 25 years without parole in 1996 for an armed robbery in Baltimore County, but was released on Sept. 29, 2010.

"A lot of people asked me. 'How come this guy is out?' " Stover said. "It seems to me the liberal parole board is a little too forgiving of people.

"I'm all for second chances … but what happened to three strikes and you're out?" he asked. "I was kind of surprised that someone with his record was paroled so many times."