TALLAHASSEE Fla. (Reuters) - Florida State University student Jason Derfuss did not think to look at his book bag as he fled the university library where a gunman wounded three people early on Thursday.
Only later did Derfuss realized that his books may have saved his life.
"He was about 5 feet from me, but he hit my books. Books one minute earlier I had checked out of the library, books that should not have stopped the bullet," Derfuss wrote on Facebook.
The shooter was killed in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement at Florida State's Strozier Library at about 12:30 a.m. Derfuss later posted photos of bullet holes that pierced two of his books and left a mark on his book bag, along with the shiny bullet that he safely recovered.
Reuters could not immediately reach Derfuss, who escaped injury and whose story received wide attention amid a string of shootings on U.S. campuses.
"The truth is I was almost killed tonight and God intervened," Derfuss wrote.
Police said they ordered the gunman to drop his weapon, then fatally shot him when he fired on them.
The shooter was attorney Myron May, a Florida State University alumnus, law-enforcement officers said.
One of the three wounded, whose names have not been released, was in critical condition, according to a spokeswoman at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare hospital. Another of the wounded was in good condition and the third suffered a graze wound, the spokeswoman said.
Writing by Letitia Stein; Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Eric Walsh and Mohammad Zargham