A brilliant young violinist heading to music class was miraculously saved from being hit by a stray bullet when it thudded into the musical instrument he was carrying on his back.
Samuel Galvaao, 20, was almost hit by the stray bullet which ended up in the violin he was carrying instead after he found himself in the middle of a cops and robbers shootout in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil on 20th August.
Samuel began studying the instrument in the non-government organization Acao Social pela Musica do Brasil which provides music education to children and youngsters living in vulnerable areas.
Later, he was selected for the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Rio de Janeiro, founded by the same organization, for the purpose of training outstanding students.
The incident happened on the morning of 20th of August when Samuel was supposed to have a violin lesson.
According to the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro, there was a shooting attack against the UPP (Pacifying Police Unit) Macacos that occurred that morning and once the police retaliated an active shootout began.
Samuel informed his teacher that he might not be able to arrive at his class that was scheduled for 9am that morning. It usually took him around 40 minutes to get to class, but he feared that the shooting which started at 7am would not stop soon.
Since the shooting seemed to have stopped around 9:20 am, Samuel called his teacher and informed him that he would quickly arrive In class. The teacher did not want to rush the eager student, but Samuel was ready and headed down to the bus stop.
But while walking on the sidewalk he heard the shooting resume.
Shocked, he did not even have time to duck when he heard a loud bang from behind him.
He said: “It was all very fast. I stopped and turned to the side, took a step forward and heard a very loud bang behind me. There was no time to bend down or run.”
When the shooting ceased he then noticed people running towards him looking worried.
He said: “I started to get desperate, I thought I was shot and I didn’t feel it because I was in shock. I took off my shirt and saw that nothing had happened to me.”
Once he was sure that he was not hit, Samuel checked on his violin that was placed in a case on his back and found a bullet hole.
Samuel exclaimed: “I opened (the case) and saw the violin all broken, the bullet was inside.”
Samuel believes that if he had taken one step further or carried the instrument case in his hands instead of his back, he would have been killed.
He said: “The shot could have hit my rib. I could have died. It was nerve-racking. One second you’re alive and the next you could be dead. There’s a movie in your head. You’re freaked out about it.”
The music student had always carried his instrument on his back because he wanted to have his hands free.
He explained: “If I didn’t have the violin, I would be just another statistic.”
The violin that saved Samuel’s life was not his own, but a borrowed instrument that Samuel needed for an exam since he couldn’t use his own violin which needs repairs. Not being able to return the violin with a bullet in it, the student set up a fundraiser to help save up money and buy a new violin so he could return it.
Brazilian violinist Alessandro Borgomanero also got involved and after learning Samuel’s story he decided to gift him a violin so he could keep learning the instrument.