Cell Phone Over Man's Heart Stops Bullet
Cell Phone Over Man's Heart Stops Bullet - New Orleans
SLIDELL, La. -- A stray bullet hit a man in his chest while he was mowing his lawn Saturday, but he escaped injury because the bullet slammed into a cell phone in his pocket.
R.J. Richard of Slidell said he was working in his yard when a large-caliber bullet slammed into his chest.
"When this thing hit me, it hit with such force that I thought it popped up from the lawnmower some kind of way," he said.
Richard said he didn't know what hit him, but he knew something was wrong. When he tried to dial 911, his cell phone fell apart in his hands.
The stray bullet had hit his Motorola cell phone. Richard said he normally keeps the phone in his pants pocket, but that day he had it in a pocket over his heart.
"(Doctors) said, 'If your cell phone wouldn't have been there, and if it would have hit you straight on, you'd be totally dead,' because that is where my heart is," Richard said.
Richard's wife, Mindy, drove up shortly after the shooting. She said it took a while for reality to set in.
"I just burst into tears," she said. "I just could not believe it."
Investigators tell WDSU they don't know what gun might have fired the bullet. The St. Tammany Sheriff's Department is running the bullet through its Ibis System to see if the gun it came from has ever been used in another crime.
They said they don't suspect any criminal intent, but said anyone who pulls the trigger of a gun is responsible for where the bullet winds up.
The close call just before the holiday season has the Richards holding on to one another a bit more tightly.
"It increased my faith," R.J. Richard said. "I am hopefully more humble. I hopefully will love my wife more and quicker."
"He is," Mindy Richard said. "Ever since Saturday he's been doing so much more right. I can't get over it."
R.J. Richard said he's got a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.