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Bus driver credits biblical book for surviving shooting

DAYTON, Ohio – Police in southwest Ohio were seeking three men Tuesday in the aftermath of the shooting of a public transit bus driver they say survived with the apparent help of a biblical book in his shirt pocket.

The driver of the Regional Transit Authority bus told police Monday he was standing outside the bus when the men shot at him three times, with one shot hitting his leg.

Rickey Wagoner, 49, told police he fought back and the men ran away after he stabbed one with a pen.

In a 911 call, Wagoner said he felt two shots to his chest, but he didn’t think the bullets got through the book in his shirt pocket. Dayton police said two small-caliber bullets hit the book called “The Message,” which has Bible verses in contemporary language.

“It just feels like I’ve been hit with a sledgehammer,” Wagoner said. “I’ve got a book in my pocket and I don’t think they made it through this book.”

The Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1bICqAQ) reported that police said Wagoner was recovering in a hospital from injuries, which also included a stab wound to his arm. They said the assault appeared to be random.

Police said Wagoner, of Trotwood, had stopped his bus to check a possible mechanical problem. After the assault, he drove to a nearby regional transit hub and called 911.

“Amazingly, his injuries are not life-threatening,” Dayton Police Sgt. Michael Pauley said.

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