Columbia Star

Somebody’s looking out for Ullie



Ullie is on his way to the Waffle House to have coffee with some new acquaintances. As he leaves the house, his wife reminds him to take out the garbage. Dutifully, he picks up the garbage bag in the kitchen and a large trash bag near the back door and heads for the curbside trash can.

Just as Ullie is about to swing the plastic bags into the trash collector, two shots ring out. Ullie is knocked flat on his back in the tree box space near the curb.

His chest is stinging. Lying as still as possible, Ullie reaches for his chest and feels two holes in his shirt right over his heart. “Somebody killed me,” Ullie must have thought at that moment. But there’s no blood.

Ullie’s wife hears the gunshots and runs outside and sees Ullie stretched out on the grass. “Stay down,” Ullie says in a low whisper. “They could still be out there.”

Apparently not. There are no more shots fired. A neighbor tells deputies he saw two men with rifles run around the corner at the end of the block. They jumped into a pickup truck, but the neighbor couldn’t read the tag number.

Ullie is taken to the hospital where an ER doctor tells him how lucky he is to still be alive. Lucky indeed. Ullie tells everybody he was on the way to the Waffle House to meet with two men he’d met at church last Sunday. He had two pocket sized Bibles in his shirt pocket which he intended to give the men.

“I’m keeping these Bibles for myself,” says Ullie. “Those bullets had my name on ’em but these Bibles saved my life.”

Actually, the sheriff’s department is keeping the Bibles as evidence until the case is cleared up. So far, investigators report only that the bullets were fired from different guns by unknown assailants. Ullie is unable to give any information as to why somebody might want to kill him.

My thanks to the Florida Times-Union for parts of this story.

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