Bible saves bus driver from assailants’ bullets

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Millions of people testify to having been rescued by the Bible, but an Ohio bus driver can say the Good Book has saved his life … literally.

Rickey Wagoner, a 49-year-old bus driver for the Dayton Regional Transit Authority, was shot several times in the chest Monday, but a thick version of the Bible in his shirt pocket stopped the bullets from doing any fatal harm, according to news reports.

The Dayton Daily News said Mr. Wagoner was recovering in a hospital from gunshot wounds to his chest and leg and multiple stab wounds, and police were crediting his survival to both the book and fighting his attackers.

Dayton police said Mr. Wagoner was assaulted at about 5:20 a.m. Monday by three people in the 1900 block of Lakeview Avenue. Mr. Wagoner had stepped off his bus to inspect it because it had stopped running when the trio approached and tried to shoot and stab him.

Police told WHIO News Center 7 that Mr. Wagoner heard one of his attackers say to another that he had to kill him “if you want to be all the way in the club.”

The Dayton Daily News reported that Mr. Wagoner told police that when he turned to face his attackers, one shot twice at his chest. He wrestled the gun from the shooter, but not before he was hit in the leg. During the fight, Mr. Wagoner was stabbed in the left arm with a knife.

Police would not say whether the attack was connected to gang violence but do not think it was related to an attempted robbery, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Mr. Wagoner was carrying “The Message Bible” by Eugene H. Peterson. An online bookseller described the book as having more than 2,200 pages.

Mr. Wagoner’s son, Rickey Wagoner Jr., posted on his Facebook wall Monday that his father “is doing good now.”

“My family and I are just lucky he is still alive!” the younger Mr. Wagoner said.

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