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Bus driver shooting probed as possible hate crime

Ohio Bus Driver Credits Bible for Blocking Bullets and Saving His Life

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Authorities said Wednesday that they are investigating whether the shooting of a bus driver who said a book of Bible verses in his pocket helped stop two bullets could have been a hate crime.

Bus driver Rickey Wagoner, who is white, told Dayton police that he was outside his bus early Monday when three black men shot at him, with two bullets hitting the book in his shirt pocket and one hitting his leg. He said he was also stabbed in the arm.

Wagoner, 49, was released from the hospital Tuesday.

Police Chief Richard Biehl said Wednesday that he became concerned about the possibility of a hate crime after reading the initial police report and that he forwarded the report to the FBI's Dayton office.

"They are working with us," he said.

FBI spokesman Rick Smith said agents will help determine whether the shooting was a hate crime, a federal civil rights violation.

Biehl said Wednesday that police recovered a .25-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a knife along with four spent rounds and three live rounds from the gun. He said the spent rounds match the number of shots heard on an audio recording from the bus.

"We are looking to get the audio and video of the bus recording enhanced," he said.

Biehl said there were no witnesses and no video of the shooting.

Police are analyzing evidence that includes the knife, shell casings, bullets and the gun.

A driver for the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, Wagoner said he stopped the bus to check a mechanical problem around 5 a.m. Monday when the men approached him. Wagoner told police he fought back and grabbed the gun and that the men ran away. Wagoner told police he fired at them before driving the bus to safety and calling for help.

Wagoner said in his 911 call that he felt two shots to his chest.

"It just feels like I've been hit with a sledgehammer," Wagoner said on the 911 call.

Police said two small-caliber bullets hit the booklet called "The Message," which has Bible verses in contemporary language, and were found lodged inside the book.

Police on Wednesday displayed a photo of the book that showed where two bullets entered through its cover. When asked about the book's thickness, police used as an example a book that appeared to be about an inch thick.

Wagoner told police he just started carrying the book about a week earlier.

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jwmgrand February 27 2014 at 7:56 PM


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tkelshaw February 27 2014 at 7:25 PM

YES! The bible has done this at other times; glad for the driver

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honeyrose3332 February 27 2014 at 7:07 PM

I'm glad the bus driver survived. He might not have had he not had that book of Bible verses in his shirt pocket.

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oosik12 February 27 2014 at 6:32 PM

Let's talk about the love crime that was inflicted on Reginald Denny during the L.A. Riots. What the **** did he do to be hit in the head by a cinder block ? And for the idiot that said the bus drivers wounds were self inflicted...Your an absolute idiot. If white people would stand up and say,"we're not going to take it anymore and an eye for an eye", then this **** would stop. You hurt me, I hurt ten of you.

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caminante4 February 27 2014 at 6:08 PM

A white guy shot by blacks is a hate crime? No way. Jessy and Al are not up in arms, so it is not a hate crime. Hate criems are the other way around, a white who shoots a black. That's a real hate crime. Blacks shooting whites are Love Crimes. I guess.

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Bruce Boelter February 27 2014 at 5:55 PM

Yah, right. Do you really think the RACIST Eric Holder's Department of INJustice will do anything?

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1 reply to Bruce Boelter's comment
caminante4 February 27 2014 at 6:08 PM

Give an award to the three guys.

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CHARLIE February 27 2014 at 5:44 PM

If the colors were reversed, Jackson and Sharpton would be on the scene screaming like two idots that they are.

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Hi Sandra February 27 2014 at 5:42 PM

So many people with so much hate inside of them, it will eat them alive. I could never understand why people hate. I PRAY that the end is near, this is the only way to stop all of this hate, bigotry and racism.

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javamutt February 27 2014 at 5:34 PM

Only in america is it questionable if black men attack a white guy. but if a white guy does ANYTHING its automatically a hate crime. Of corse this was a hate crime.

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CREEPER February 27 2014 at 5:30 PM

They are only 17% of the U.S Population. But are 72% of the Inmate Population. Case Closed

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2 replies to CREEPER's comment
weeeally February 27 2014 at 5:39 PM

True creepy, because you all are never held accountable for your actions. A white herion addict kills himself and it's the dealer's fault. If white kids were stopped and frisked as often as blacks the DOC would be filled with them. And that's because over 60% of they are drug addicts. Heroin and Meth can't stay on the shelves for two minutes at a time when they are around.

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caminante4 February 27 2014 at 6:10 PM

Because they commit Love Crimes.

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