National News

Apr 11, 2013 4:06 PM by AP

Bullet hits Philadelphia shop worker's belt buckle

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A grocery store employee said Thursday that he is thanking God and his belt buckle for saving him from a stray bullet that smashed through the market's front door.

The bullet lodged in the metal buckle worn by Bienvenido Reynoso, who had only recently started his job at 8 Brothers Supermarket in Philadelphia.

"It saved my life," Reynoso said of the belt. "I keep it for (my) whole life now."

Reynoso, 38, said he was about to wheel a hand truck outside the market in the city's Grays Ferry section when he heard gunshots around 4 p.m. Wednesday. He hit the floor.

Surveillance footage shows a man on a bike firing a gun outside the market. One person outside the store was hit in the abdomen and was hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

At first, Reynoso didn't realize he could have been a second victim.

"When I check my body, I don't see nothing, no blood, nothing," he said in an interview at his home Thursday. "And I said I'm going to be OK."

Then someone noticed a hole at the bottom of Reynoso's shirt. That's when he found the bullet stuck to his belt buckle.

Police took the bullet and shirt as evidence. But Reynoso, the father of a young daughter, got to keep the belt, which he said he got in New York three years ago.

Christian Vinas, 21, was working behind the counter and also dived to the ground when the shooting began. Reynoso had perfect timing in dropping to the floor, he said.

"That has to be God," Vinas said. "Out of all the places you could get hit in the body, you get hit right there. It was truly amazing."

Police arrested a 24-year-old suspect and charged him with attempted murder and aggravated assault.

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