A raw gem crystal "Tree of Life" necklace is credited with saving the life of a Tennessee woman who was shot in the chest by a would-be bank robber.
Janeice Frisbee, a 20-year Bancorp South employee from Humboldt, Tenn., said the dollar-coin-size necklace, which features colorful, uncut birthstones strung on sterling silver wire in the form of the "Tree of Life," deflected a .40-caliber bullet aimed at her heart.
On the morning of March 18, police say Frisbee was accosted at her home by Dominic Williams and forced to open the Bancorp South branch, which was only a few blocks away. Once inside, Williams demanded that Frisbee open the bank vault, but she did not have that authority. The assailant then shot Frisbee twice at point blank range.
“I couldn't do what he wanted me to do, and that's why he shot me," Frisbee told WMC Action News 5.
The first shot, which was aimed at the middle of her chest, never penetrated her body because it deflected off of the handmade sterling silver necklace that had been given to her as a birthday present by her son and daughter-in-law. According to The Jackson Sun, Frisbee sustained only minor injuries from the first bullet — a broken sternum and a bruise bearing the shape of her "Tree of Life" necklace.
“No one can believe that bullet didn’t go through that necklace,” Frisbee told WMC Action News 5. “It was just a miracle the way it worked.”
The second shot did more damage, but was not life threatening. The bullet hit her in the shoulder, went through her chest cavity and exited just above her heart.
Despite the injuries, Frisbee was able to dial 911 as the assailant jumped out the bank’s window and fled on foot. Police captured the suspect minutes later.
“They told me as they were putting me in the ambulance to take me to the helicopter that they already had him in custody,” Frisbee told WMC Action News 5.
The twisted sterling silver wire necklace that saved Frisbee’s life was designed by Amanda Toddings of Colorado-based Mandala Rain, which specializes in Family Tree and Tree of Life necklaces and pendants.
Frisbee’s daughter-in-law, Brandy, reported that, despite being hit by a bullet, the necklace is still intact. It may be a while before Frisbee gets it back because the FBI is holding it as evidence in the felony charges against Williams.
The brave bank employee was hospitalized for only one day and is recuperating in her home with the support of family, friends and other well-wishers.
"They're sending cards, letters, flowers, gift cards — I'm just so amazed," Frisbee told WBBJ-TV. "I didn't even know I knew this many people."
Credits: Jewelry photo via Mandala Rain. Other images: Screen captures via wmcactionnews5.com.