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Smartphone protects Shreveport rock band singer from gunfire

Updated: Oct. 27, 2017 at 9:46 PM CDT
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(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - In certain situations, a smartphone can save someone's life in several different ways such as calling for help or using different apps.

However, there was no app to protect a singer from an ArkLaTex rock band after a performance at the Louisiana State Fair. Instead, it was the man's smartphone itself that shielded him from a bullet.

It all happened shortly after 10:30 on Thursday night, October 26. A hail of gunfire wounded two people at Greenwood Road and Exposition Avenue in Shreveport — and there was nearly a third victim.

Shreveport police investigators have said it appears there was an exchange of gunfire between a car and a group of people standing at Greenwood and Exposition.

We're told both victims are expected to make a full recovery, including a 17-year-old shot multiple times in his legs. The search for suspects is now underway.

Ben Tynan is the frontman of the Shreveport cover band "The Hollow Decks." His cell phone that took the bullet for him.

"The case is pretty well destroyed," Tyman said.

Tynan and guitarist Dexter Duran had just wrapped up a performance at and were loading up their gear near the stage at the fairgrounds when the shooting broke out on Greenwood Road.

"I heard the pop, pop, pop (pause) pop, pop, pop, pop, pop," Duran said. In the moment, he thought it was fireworks.

"But then I heard that whizzing," Duran said. " And I heard it hitting the tent, the canvas tent to that stage. And that's when I jumped to get inside of my car. And that's when I heard him (Tyman) holler out."

That's because the bullet may have only hit Tynan's phone, but it still hurt, a lot.

"It felt like getting whipped with a wet towel," said a grimacing Tynan.

The force of the bullet, added Tynan, was strong enough to put him on the ground for a couple of minutes, before collecting himself.

When he stood up and began to look around he saw a sea of emergency lights from an army of first responders who had arrived at the shooting scene on the other side of the fairgrounds fence on Greenwood Road.

The day after the shooting, the band and its members are still understandably shaken up. But, they're also grateful for what time that shooting happened after the fair had closed and they were no longer performing.

"I just think we were very, very fortunate," concluded Duran.

Police discovered more than 20 shell casings from the shooting scene. That's the very same area where Duran and Tynan met with officers Friday afternoon to file a police report.

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