Early Thursday morning, a gunman opened fire and wounded three students at Florida State University’s campus library.
One of those shot was Jason Derfuss, who was not harmed.
Derfuss says he was standing about five feet from the shooter when he heard a gunshot behind him.
Three hours later, while going through his backpack, he noticed something terrifying.
The library books he had just checked out had bullet holes in them. It turns out the books may have saved his life — he walked away unharmed, even though the gun had been aimed at his back.
“He was about 5 feet from me, but he hit my books,” Derfuss wrote in a public Facebook post. “Books one minute earlier I had checked out of the library, books that should not have stopped the bullet. But they did.”
In a video interview with Tallahassee Democrat, Derfuss recalled what happened.
“I had just checked out a couple of books for a research project I was doing. I was walking down the steps when I heard a loud bang behind me. This bang was definitely a gun shot. I didn’t really want to accept that a gunshot was going off behind me but I knew what it was. I turned around very slowly and saw the gunman take two shots at another person. And that’s when I ran for my life.
“When I got back I pulled out two of the books for my research project and noticed that both of the covers of the books were really messed up. It looked like something had punctured through the books. And so I emptied out my backpack. My roommate came in and found the bullet lodged in the bottom of my backpack.
“It was difficult to wrap my mind around that I had been the first person he shot. I thought all three shots had been targeted at the other person.
“It was humbling to know that my life was in God’s hands and that he graciously spared me. All of the victims are alive and thank god for that.”
Here’s the full interview with Derfuss:
Here’s the public Facebook post, with incredible images that should encourage everyone to read more.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.