Momma always told me that an education could save lives, but I don’t think she meant it to be this literal.

Florida State student Jason Derfuss was leaving Strozier Library at 12:30 AM this morning when an attacker* opened fire behind him at a range of just five feet.

Derfuss assumed that he was lucky and the attacker was shooting at other people instead of him.

It wasn’t until three hours later that he discovered that the attacker tried to kill him, and credits a miracle for saving him.

Earlier tonight there was a shooting at FSU, right as I was leaving Strozier. I didn’t know this at the time, but the Shooter targeted me first. The shot I heard behind me I did not feel, nor did it hit me at all. 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. But they did. I learned this about 3 hours after it happened, I never thought to check my bag. I assumed I wasn’t a target, I assumed I was fine. The truth is I was almost killed tonight and God intervened. I know conceptually He can do all things, but to physically witness the impossible and to be surrounded by such grace is indescribable. To God be the glory, forever and ever, Amen.

Derfuss posted pictures of the two relatively slim books that stopped the bullets meant to kill him.

Of the the two students injured seriously enough to be hospitalized in the attack, one remains in critical condition, and the other has been updated from serious to fair.

The attacker was a young lawyer who was allegedly suffering from mental health problems. He was a conspiracy theorist who felt the government was after him. A string of four recent deaths of family members may have also played a role in driving him over the edge.


* Bearing Arms does not name mass shooters or spree killers, either failed or successful.