Jason Derfuss, a humanities student at Florida State University in Tallahassee, is probably happy he didn’t pick a less literature-heavy major.
When gunfire erupted at FSU’s Strozier Library early this morning, Derfuss was checking out books. "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.”
Derfuss drove home, which is when he realized how lucky he was. "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.” Derfuss was unaware he’d been shot at until he saw bullet holes in his backpack. "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 books in Derfuss’ backpack, including a 304-page book entitled “John Wyclif (Great Medieval Thinkers),” which examined a 14-century philosopher, absorbed the bullet gunman Myron May shot at him. "It was hard to wrap my mind around," he told the Tallahassee Democrat. "I've been told multiple times that those books shouldn't have stopped the bullet. And I honestly think this was a direct intervention by God."
Coincidentally, Wyclif’s philosophy is largely focused on Christianity and he was one of the first advocates for translating the Bible into language that everyday people could understand.
Derfuss is set to graduate from FSU in three weeks. He described his experiences on Facebook and again cited God as the reason for his survival. “I know conceptually [God] can do all things,” he said, “but to physically witness the impossible and to be surrounded by such grace is indescribable. To God be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.”