Photo Video

Bible in front pocket saves Dayton bus driver's life during early morning shooting

a a a a
Share this story

DAYTON, Ohio — Authorities say a Bible may have saved the life of a Dayton bus driver Monday morning.

A New Testament Bible was in the front pocket of Regional Transit Authority bus driver Rickey Wagoner's shirt when he took two bullets to the chest during an early morning shooting.

The bullets struck the Bible and did not penetrate his body, authorities told WHIO-TV.

Wagoner spent Monday night at Miami Valley Hospital, recovering from a gunshot to his leg and stab wounds to his left arm. Three shots were fired, police said, and the Bible blocked two of them.

"I had a book in my pocket," Wagoner said in the 911 call. "At first I thought it went through. It just feels like I've been hit with a sledgehammer an the chest. And I've been cut on the arm."

Officers at the scene called the life-saving event an “intervention.”

"There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in this incident because (Wagoner) should probably not be here," Dayton Police Sgt. Michael Pauley said.

According to WHIO, Wagoner, 49, parked his bus on Lakeview Avenue in Dayton after it stopped running. While outside of the bus assessing the problem, Waggoner was approached by three teens who said they had to "shoot a polar bear," police said. The teens also mentioned "getting into the club."

Wagoner fought for his life, wrestling a gun and knife away from the teens, who then ran away.

"They started to run. I shot at them with their gun. I got their gun and knife in the bus with me," he said in the 911 call.

Wagoner told the 911 operator that he stabbed one of his attackers with his pen, but that he was unsure if any of the shots he fired hit them.

Police said the three suspects are about 15 to 18 years old.

Paramedics rushed Wagoner to Miami Valley after the incident. Officials said he was shaken up but is now in good condition. 

According to a police report, Wagoner told officers he brought his copy of the Bible about a week ago.

Police said they'd investigate Wagoner's attack as a possible gang initiation, WCPO reporter Amy Wadas learned Monday evening.

According to Dr. Art Jipson, criminal justice Professor at the University of Dayton, the term "polar Bear" is often used by gangs. He said "polar Bear" refers to a white individual, and "black bear" refers to a black individual.

"Club is in essence a reference for a gang," Jipson said. "To say it's time to get into a club means this is my entrance fee, this is how I get in. This is how I prove myself."

 

Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Print this article

Comments

Hmm... It looks like you’re not a WCPO Insider. or Subscribe now to contribute!

More Local News
Hacker attack? NKU Cyber Defense Team can help
Hacker attack? NKU Cyber Defense Team can help

The students bested teams from nine states--including the University of Louisville--in a recent competition. Organizers described the cyber…

Judge stays Ohio same-sex marriage ruling
Judge stays Ohio same-sex marriage ruling

Judge Timothy Black has stayed his ruling that ordered Ohio to recognize same-sex marriages performed legally in other states pending appeal.

Police say they know who stabbed teen to death
Police say they know who stabbed teen to death

Fairfield police say they know who stabbed 15-year-old Chelsea Johnson to death almost exactly two years ago.

Police ask for community's help to find woman
Police ask for community's help to find woman

Police are asking the community for help in locating a missing 20-year-old University's Heights woman.

Two N.Ky. women terrorized by peeping burglar
Two N.Ky. women terrorized by peeping burglar

Two victims, a woman and a teenage girl, faced terrifying situations early Sunday morning when they woke up to find a stranger standing next…

Alcohol suspected in fatal crash with ODOT truck
Alcohol suspected in fatal crash with ODOT truck

One person is dead after their SUV rear-ended an Ohio Department of Transportation dump truck on I-71 early Wednesday and police say alcohol…

Westwood man charged in rape of 6-year-old
Westwood man charged in rape of 6-year-old

A Westwood man was arrested Monday and charged in the rape of a 6-year-old.

Campus sexual assault: NKU's prevention strategy
Campus sexual assault: NKU's prevention strategy

This time of year, high school seniors are deciding where to go to college. For many young women and their parents, the issue of campus…

Is your child's car seat installed correctly?
Is your child's car seat installed correctly?

Three out of four car seats are improperly installed in vehicles, according to AAA technicians.

State school board debates orientation rule
State school board debates orientation rule

A proposal to protect Ohio school teachers from being fired on the basis of sexual orientation is dividing the state school board.