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UPDATE: Religious Book Credited with Saving Gunshot Victim
DAYTON -- Some are calling it a miracle and divine intervention, after a bible blocks two bullets from killing a RTA bus driver.
On bus surveillance video you can hear commotion outside followed by moans.
Outside those bus doors at the intersection of Lakeview and McClin, RTA driver Rick Waggoner was stabbed and shot three times by three teens or young adults. But God's words were on his side.
Waggoner was shot twice in the chest, bullets that never made it past the prayer book in his shirt pocket. Police dislodged two bullets from inside the book's divine words.
"There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in the incident because he should not be here," Sgt. Michael Pauly, Dayton Police Department, explained.
Police say the 49-year-old father of three did not go down without a fight. He was able to stab one of the suspects and shoot at the trio as they ran away.
"Basically he said that he fought or his life," Sgt. Pauly explained.
Although motive is still under investigation, according to the police report, one of the men said "if you want to be all the way in the club, you have to kill the polar bear." The violent attack may have been racially motivated, but RTA officials say they believe it to be a rare, isolated incident but are taking safety precautions anyway.
"This morning we put more man power on Route 8 simply to have a presence to reassure our employees and customers to show we care," RTA Director Mark Donaghy explained Monday at a press conference. "He's a good guy. Looking forward to seeing him back behind the wheel."
Waggoner, a 10-year RTA employee and union rep with perfect attendance, is in the hospital, miraculously in good condition.
DAYTON -- A bus driver's faith might have saved his life.
Dayton police say the religious devotional book "The Message" was in the man's shirt pocket over his heart and it stopped two bullets shot at his chest.
Sgt. Michael Pauley says he thinks there was some kind of "intervention" at work during the shooting, because the man wouldn't typically have survived such an attack.
The RTA bus driver, identified as 49-year-old Rickey Waggoner of Trotwood, was reportedly attacked by three male suspects, possibly late teens, early twenties, just after beginning his morning route along Lakeview Avenue and Lakeside Drive.
He was approached by the suspects when his bus broke down on the side of the road.
We are told the victim was shot twice in the chest and once in the hip. He was also stabbed in the arm.
"I had a book in my pocket. At first I thought it had went through, but it just feels like I've been hit by a sledge hammer in the chest, and I've been cut on the arm," Waggoner told the 911 dispatcher.
In the police report, Waggoner told police he heard a suspect say, "If you want to be all the way in the club, you have to kill the polar bear."
LISTEN: 911 Call - RTA Bus Driver Shot, Stabbed
Dayton Police say Waggoner overpowered the suspects and took the gun and knife.
According to the 911 call, Waggoner said that once he got the gun and knife away from the suspects they ran away and he shot at them.
He said he isn't sure whether he hit any of them.
"I stabbed one in the leg, I think, with my pen and he hollered and that's when they started leaving," Waggoner said.
Waggoner said the suspects fled the scene in a two-door blue car.
Waggoner was able to drive himself to the Westown Shopping Center bus hub, where he called police.
He was taken to the hospital and is expected to recover.
If you have any information, call Dayton Police at 937-333-2677 (COPS).
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