Skip to main content

A Normal Day Turned Near Deadly if Not for God

Rob Hull


Share This article

“I can tell that something really bad has happened to my wife and my daughter. I could see the bullet holes in the car, all around it. I don't even know if I want to go see what is going on,” says Vandy Tullos.

August 1st, 2021 - Vandy Tullos just left his wife Debbie and daughter, Rachel, at a walk in clinic in Baton Rouge. Rachel has autism spectrum disorder and needed a negative Covid test before returning to school. As they sat waiting in their car, they noticed a man with a gun yelling at a driver in a nearby truck. 

Debbie remembers the moment. She says, “And all of a sudden he starts shooting. He then turned to us and begins to open fire, it was the most terrifying thing. Just in that split second, I threw the car into reverse and started backing up. I zigged and zagged frontwards and backwards in an effort to try to stay a moving target. He then came around to my side of the car and he shot through the window into my face. I grabbed my daughter, and I laid across the shift, thinking maybe if I play dead he will leave. He shot me one more time in the back of the head."

The gunman fired ten 9mm rounds into their car and then ran off and stole a car that had been left running outside the clinic. Vandy says, “I got a call from her. Not very coherent. I knew something was wrong and I turned around and I went back over there.”

Debbie knew she needed a miracle for her and Rachel’s survival. She says, “I prayed. I said, 'God, just please keep me alert and conscious long enough to get her to safety.' Blood was coming out of my mouth; it was coming out of my head. By this time I was covered with blood. So I got out of the car and I walked around and she said, ‘Mom, I'm shot.’ She was white as a sheet, and she screamed – the screaming and just this bloodcurdling scream that I hope I never hear again. But she collapsed. And again, I just prayed for her and for me.”

Moments later Vandy arrived on the scene and tried to make sense of what he saw. He says, “All the windows were blown out, there's bullet holes in the side of the doors, And I could see the blood. I could see the blood in the car.”

After a moment of extreme anger, Vandy was overcome with faith that God was in control. He says, “God's been here, God is taking care of them. I have to have the faith right now to know that they're okay even though I can't see them, I haven't had that come over before in my life like I did at that moment in time.”

The gunman was soon captured by local law enforcement. Meanwhile, Debbie and Rachel were rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. Rachel had been shot in the chest.

Chief of surgery, Doctor Michael Conners describes the life-threatening nature of her injury. “The bullet tracked across the midline hitting really the back of her clavicular head and traversing over to the right there, any of the major blood vessels hit can be catastrophic. The airway can be catastrophic as well as the esophagus.”

Debbie was also treated for her wounds. Thankfully, the bullet to the back of her head only grazed her skull, doing little damage. The bullet to her face followed an interesting path. She says, “The bullet went in my cheek, through the back of my tongue, through the back of my neck and ended up here where it still is, but it missed everything vital.”

Thankful she would be okay, Debbie waited and prayed for news of Rachel’s condition. Debbie says, “From the looks of things, we didn't know. You know, we didn't know. I didn't know if I'd ever see her again.”

“Rachel is thin, young female, so front to back is not very thick,” says Dr. Conners. “It traversed directly across missing all her major organs. My personal thoughts, a bullet traversing completely across the midline without the individual having suffered really any injuries at all is amazing. I didn't really have to do anything for her other than just take the bullet out, but outside of that she required no treatment.”

Rachel and Debbie share the miracle of being spared from what could have been a life ending situation. Vandy says, “And that is God. That's a miracle. By His grace, by His hands totally in control, it was done by Him.”

Debbie says, “Seven months out and I'm back to my normal life. I mean, it's just been amazing, His grace. People were praying for us all over the world. I didn't know that until afterwards."

Debbie and Rachel have fully recovered, thankful God spared their lives and heard their prayers. Debbie says, “God was with me 100%. He was there for the whole thing. He was guiding those bullets. There's no way we should have survived this, no way, either one of us should have survived it. I don't believe in luck. I believe that God does this for us.”

Share Your Story

Share This article

About The Author

Rob Hull

Rob Hull has been writing, shooting and producing stories for CBN since 2008. His love of sharing redemptive, Christ centered stories began with video productions at his local church in Bellingham Washington before moving to Nashville to join the CBN staff. He loves the process of creating emotionally moving images that help tell the story of God’s love for people.