Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Entertainment
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ohio bus driver shooting where religious book stopped bullets is probed as possible hate crime

This undated photo provided by the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) shows bus driver Rickey Wagoner. Wagoner, 49, of Trotwood, told Dayton police he was standing outside the bus early Monday morning, Feb. 24, 2014, when he was shot three times, with one bullet hitting his leg, and stabbed in the arm. Wagoner told police he fought back, grabbed the gun and the attackers ran away. A biblical booklet in Wagoner's shirt pocket apparently helped him survive the shooting. Police say they are looking for three suspects. (AP Photo/Greater Dayton RTA via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT

Enlarge Image

This undated photo provided by the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority (RTA) shows bus driver Rickey Wagoner. Wagoner, 49, of Trotwood, told Dayton police he was standing outside the bus early Monday morning, Feb. 24, 2014, when he was shot three times, with one bullet hitting his leg, and stabbed in the arm. Wagoner told police he fought back, grabbed the gun and the attackers ran away. A biblical booklet in Wagoner's shirt pocket apparently helped him survive the shooting. Police say they are looking for three suspects. (AP Photo/Greater Dayton RTA via The Dayton Daily News) LOCAL PRINT OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; WKEF-TV OUT; WRGT-TV OUT; WDTN-TV OUT

DAYTON, Ohio - 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-calibre 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-calibre 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.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media