Often owners of bullet proof vests are grateful that their ballistic vest has never been put to the test. This isn't the case for Irish Republican Pat Fitzpatrick who was shot in the back whilst stood next to his car in East Belfast on Saturday 25th January 2020.
Pat Fitzpatrick was linked to a gun attack of Kevin McGuigan snr, a former IRA member, in 2015. McGuigan, it was believed, had been shot as a retaliation for the murder of Gerard 'Jock' Davison, a Republican, three months prior. McGuigan was also the prime suspect in Davison's murder.
Police raided the homes of the republicans who were closest to Davison, immediately following the shooting of McGuigan. Fitzpatrick's house was one of the houses raided.
Bullet proof vests can be worn covertly and Fitzpatrick was wearing a covert bullet proof vest when he was shot in the back. The bullet impacted on his back, close to his heart, shown by the image he posted to social media shortly after the incident.
If shot whilst wearing a bullet proof vest, the wearer may experience severe bruising and sometimes broken ribs, however the gruesome alternative doesn't bear thinking about.
If you work in a potentially dangerous environment, possibly encountering political or economic disputes, or maybe finding yourself in situations where you don't know if the aggressor may be carrying a knife or gun, a bullet proof or stab proof vest might just save your life.