Laptop Saves Man During Florida Airport Shooting

News | By  | 

A man who survived Friday’s devastating shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida is giving credit to his backpack and laptop for protecting him during the shooting.

Steve Frappier, a 37-year old school counselor, was picking up his luggage following his flight when the shooting started. At first, he didn’t think much of the loud pops he heard in the middle of a noisy airport, but soon enough he heard someone shout, “He’s got a gun! Get down!”

He immediately dropped to the floor, doing so in a position that allowed his backpack to protect him. In that moment, Frappier describes himself as a “tortoise with the backpack on me.”

“When we went to the floor I dropped and the backpack was still on my back,” Frappier explains. “I felt something hit my back. I craned around and I thought it was just the luggage because there was luggage falling on top of me.”

But it wasn’t luggage that had hit him, it was a bullet. It was only later when the unharmed Frappier was able to go to the bathroom to check on himself that he realized a bullet had penetrated his backpack and hit his laptop.

“The way that it ricocheted and entered my bag. That would have been my back,” he says. “It hit just so through the open backpack, exited, ran through the laptop and the casing and landed in an interior pocket of the backpack.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, Frappier turned his backpack over to the FBI, and agents confirmed that if his laptop, a MacBook Pro, had not been there, he would have been struck by the bullet and most likely would not have survived.

Five people were killed in the shooting, and another eight were injured. But the fatality list could have been even higher if not for Frappier’s backpack and laptop being positioned on his back just right. “The backpack saved my life,” he says.