(TAMPA BAY, Fla.) — A 74-year-old man has a Bible verse-inscribed necklace to thank after the steel bauble apparently saved him from serious injury from a randomly-fired bullet.
The Tampa Bay Times reports Richard Smeraldo was watching the Fourth of July fireworks at the Safety Harbor Marina in Florida when the bullet fell from the sky, struck through his nose and chin — missing all bone — and bore down on his breastbone, only to be blocked by the necklace.
The small steel necklace was a gift from his daughter, who recently survived cancer treatment, and Smeraldo had it engraved with his late mother’s favorite Bible verse: “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Smeraldo was well enough to play tennis the day after getting some stitches to his chin and nostril.
“So, thank you mom,” the victim told the paper.
Cops are still searching for whoever fired the shot.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tracy Bloom & Chip Yost, CNN
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Matt Egan, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN