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    Blocking a Bullet With the King's Face: Swede Survives Shooting Thanks to Coin

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    A 24-year-old man has reportedly survived a shooting in Malmö's troubled immigrant district Rosengård earlier this summer in a narrow escape because one the bullets was deflected by a five kronor coin he had in his bag.

    The man was shot while having a picnic with friends on a patch of grass near the city's Rosengård School. His friends saw three men disappear from the scene, leaving cartridge cases and marks in the asphalt. The shooting left the 24-year-old lying on the ground, bleeding heavily. A relative took him to the hospital, where he spent a few hours hovering between life and death, the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen reported.

    A middle-aged man and his two sons are in custody awaiting trial for the shootings. Police suspect that the shooting was linked to a brawl over a young woman at a Malmö nightclub.

    Afterwards, the police found a five kroner coin in the victim's Burberry bag, which according to the surveillance footage was hanging on his body at the time of the attack. One of the bullets hit the coin, which meant that the victim took four shots in the stomach instead of five, which provided him a narrow escape. Later, Malmö Police released images of the deformed coin and the bullet-punctured bag.

    "You have had a guardian angel. You might just as well have been dead by now," one of the Malmö policemen investigating the shooting told the man as he recovered, according to court documents.

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    The man became one of the victims of the 25 shootings in Malmö this year alone; Swedish police have classified the attack as attempted murder. The city district of Rosengård, where 86 percent of inhabitants are reported to have a foreign background, has a particularly nasty reputation for crime.

    Remarkably, this is not the first report of a coin actually stopping a gunshot. George Erasmus Dixon, commander of the Confederate submarine HL Hunley during the American Civil war, was reputedly saved by a $20 golden coin he carried as a charm for good luck. The legendary coin is supposed to have saved his leg, and possibly his life. Whereas many discard this story as an urban legend, the United States $20 double eagle coin was minted in 1860 and was left clearly deformed from the bullet's impact.

    Similar incidents of coins stopping bullets have been reported in the UK, India and Israel.

    In 2008, the famous TV series The Mythbusters investigated whether it was possible for a police badge to stop a bullet. Their verdict was that it was "plausible."

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    bullet, shooting, Scandinavia, Sweden
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