Spitting bullets: Gunshot victim coughs up bullet more than 2 years after being shot
On Oct. 5, 2009, Nick Koenig - then a firefighter - was shot during a brutal home invasion in St. Louis, Mo. Gunmen forced their way into the home of Nick's aunt, terrorizing the four women and two children inside.
When it was over, Koenig's cousin, Gina Stallis, was dead. His friend, Isabella Lovadina, sustained five gunshot wounds, and Koenig was shot three times - somehow, they both survived.
"I have one bullet that went just under my ear and it traveled through the back of my neck," says Koenig The doctor came in and said we're not going to operate on you. It's gonna be too risky. You could get paralyzed."
Sure enough, an X-ray confirmed the bullet floating at the base of Koenig's skull. For two- and-a-half years, he carried around the reminder of that painful night. The small bullet carried with it an enormous emotional weight.
Then in April 2012, Koenig was in a car accident.
"I had hit my head against the windshield. And then a couple days later I was sittin' at the edge of my bed, and I feel a lump in the back of my throat and over a few minutes this lump gets bigger and bigger...and I sort of bend over and I cough. And when I do, this object flies out of my mouth. And when I bend over to grab it I realize it's the bullet. I thought that was so odd."
Police took the bullet into evidence and confirmed it was the same caliber as the gun used in the home invasion.
"I looked at how small this bullet was, and I just couldn't believe how one little bullet had...killed my cousin, Gina," Koenig said while fighting tears. "But at the same time, it's, it's made me think a lot about how Isabella and I are a miracle."
You can see more of Nick Koenig's incredible story Saturday, May 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on "48 Hours Live to Tell: An Officer and a Hero."
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