Gunfire broke out while Thompson and her two great-granddaughters were stopped at a red light. A bullet entered through the back door of the vehicle, struck the younger of the two girls in the stomach, then passed through Thompson's Bible, which was on the seat between the girls. It came to rest inside a watermelon the older granddaughter was holding on her lap.
"The word of God and the Lordís power saved," Thompson told NBC News. "He sent the bullet into the watermelon."
None of which I am here to take issue with, apart from donning my folklorist's hat to observe that "Bible Stops Bullet" stories, whether true or false, constitute a genre all their own in the annals of urban legendry. One version of the story in which a British soldier finds God after discovering a bullet lodged in the pocket Bible he is carrying dates back to the 17th century. And, as recently as August 2007, a U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq credited a Bible in his pocket with preventing an enemy bullet from piercing his heart.
As to the present condition of Charlotte Thompson's great-granddaughters, both are doing okay, Thompson says, though she worries about the emotional scars the incident may have left.
Read more about it:
• Bible, Watermelon Stop Stray Bullet - NBC News
• Bible Stops Bullet, Saves Soldier's Life - Urban Legends