Police say the contents in an oversized purse saved Elizabeth Pittenger, a 22-year-old Middle Tennessee State University student, by stopping a bullet during an attempted robbery.
Pittenger was walking to her car on campus Thursday evening when a man confronted her and demanded her purse, cell phone and laptop, university Police Chief Buddy Peaster said. She fought the man off, but he fired a gunshot before fleeing.
The bullet was found inside the purse, along with a calculator, umbrella and small case that had been punctured. Pittenger was not injured.
Police nearby heard the gunshot and arrested Orlando Edmiston, 20. Officers found a .38 caliber handgun beneath a parked van.
Edmiston was charged with attempted murder, attempted armed robbery and possession of a weapon on school property. He was being held at the Rutherford County jail on $32,500 bond.
No one answered Monday at offices for Edmiston's court-appointed attorneys.