Man saved from bullet by cell phone

CLEVELAND, OH (CNN) - The owner of an auto parts store was saved by his cell phone after he was shot in the chest by a would-be robber.

John McCurley, 69, was at work at John's Used Auto Parts in Cleveland when a man walked in Tuesday and announced a hold-up. The robber shot McCurley and a customer, then ran out the door.

Longtime employee Steve Smith was alerted by a co-worker that McCurley, his friend and boss, needed help.

"He came running across; he said, 'The boss just got shot!'" Smith said. "So I ran across the street, there's a guy sitting on the stairs holding his belly, he just took a bullet to the belly, and I go in, my boss is laying in the hallway, just got two bullets in him."

Smith says he tried to stabilize McCurley before paramedics arrived and discovered McCurley would have taken a bullet to the heart, if not for his cell phone.

"His phone was in his pocket, it was like crumpled like this in this shirt. So I took his phone out, it looked an ice cream cone, and I set it on the counter, and that's when I ripped his shirt open and you could see the bullet hole was right under his nipple, and apparently the (phone) deflected it down into his kidney," Smith said. "Saved his life, man."

McCurley is not out of the woods just yet. His employees told the media that he suffered extensive internal injuries and underwent surgery at Metrohealth Medical Center.

Friends like Jeff Simmons are now praying for McCurley's recovery, and hoping that police catch up with the gunman.

"The person has got to be sick. You couldn't put it any other way," Simmons said.

The piece of modern technology may be getting the credit for saving McCurley's life, but his close friends believe a higher power was watching over him.

McCurley is in critical condition at a Cleveland Hospital. The customer who was shot was treated for his injuries, and released.

The gunman, who shot them both, remains on the loose.

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