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FSU Student Jason Derfuss Saved By Book Bag in Campus Shooting

Jason Derfuss, a student at Florida State University, said he is lucky to be alive after his backpack full of books stopped a bullet.

A student at Florida State University said he is lucky to be alive after his backpack full of books stopped a bullet from hitting him during Thursday's shooting. Jason Derfuss said he only realized hours later the gunman had tried to shoot him when he found a bullet among the now-shredded books he had checked out of the library. "The Oxford Context of Wyclif’s Thought" caught the slug.

"There is no way I should be alive," the 21-year-old humanities student told NBC News. "Literally, those books saved my life." Derfuss said he had just checked out the books from Strozier Library when he heard a loud bang. "I knew it was a gunshot right away and slowly turned around to see the gunman running toward another student and shoot him two times," Derfuss said. "I was about 50 yards away and ran to my car and called my dad, who told me to call 911." It was only when Derfuss returned home that he discovered how close he was to being hit. "I pulled out the books and saw they were all ripped apart," he said. "I started examining them and my friend found a bullet in the back page."

He added: "It’s crazy: One minute I am checking out books and the next I am crying on my bedroom floor thinking I shouldn't be alive. Those books saved me, and God saved me."

The gunman was fatally shot by police during an incident that saw three students wounded and hundreds more fleeing in panic inside the building.

Jason Derfuss says he found bullet holes in books that were in the bag he was carrying at the time of the shootings at Florida State University. He didn't discover them until several hours after the shooting.Jason Derfuss


— Alexander Smith