DAYTON, Ohio — The Bible is being credited for saving the life of an Ohio bus driver who was shot in the chest on Monday by a trio of teenage attackers.
Rickey Wagoner, 49, was driving the city bus as usual on Monday when he began to experience electrical problems with the vehicle.
At approximately 5:20 a.m., he pulled the vehicle to the side of the road, and was soon approached by three teenage boys.
According to reports, three gunshots were fired at Wagoner. Two were aimed at his chest, and a third struck his leg. Wagoner attempted to wrestle the pistol from one of the teens after being shot in the chest, but the gun went off during the altercation. A second teen then stabbed him in the arm with a knife while a third kicked and punched him.
WHIO-TV reports that one of the teens allegedly instructed the other that he must “kill the polar bear” in order to be “all the way in the club.”
After being stabbed in the arm, Wagoner pulled out an aluminum pen that he carried for self defense and jabbed the teen attacker in the leg. The three boys then began to run away, and the teen holding the pistol dropped his weapon. According to the Dayton Daily News, Wagoner began to fire after them as they ran.
He then called 911.
“I’ve been hit in the leg,” Wagoner told the dispatcher. “My chest feels like I’ve been hit with a sledgehammer.”
But although the bus driver had been struck in the chest twice by bullets, it was discovered that his Bible saved his life.
“I’ve got a book in my pocket, and I don’t think they made it through this book,” he said.
Dayton police agreed that the Bible was instrumental in stopping the bullets and that God was looking out for Wagoner.
“The two bullets were stopped by the New Testament book in his chest pocket,” Sgt. Michael Pauley told reporters. “There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in this incident, because he probably should not be here.”
Wagoner was hospitalized, but his injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.
He said that he had just started carrying his Bible in his pocket a week before the incident.
Police are still looking for the attackers. No one else was on the bus during the time of the assault.