Minnesota teen dies saving mum from stepfather's knife attack before 5 other children: 'Acted most heroically''
Police said the teen got between his 35-year-old mother and her knife-wielding husband during an alleged episode of domestic violence. Rodriguez's mother Angie was critically wounded but is expected to recover
A Minnesota teen died after being fatally stabbed by his stepfather while he was defending his mother from an alleged knife attack. 15-year-old Julio Cesar Guadalupe Rodriguez died in Austin, Minnesota, on Tuesday after being stabbed by his mother's husband Jaime Vaca, 27, People reported. Police said the teen got between his 35-year-old mother and her knife-wielding husband during an alleged episode of domestic violence. Despite the paramedics' best efforts, the boy succumbed to his wounds. Rodriguez's mother Angie was critically wounded but is reportedly expected to survive. Vaca has since been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault for allegedly stabbing the boy to death and assaulting his wife respectively.
Austin Police Chief David McKichan took to Facebook and described the incident as "one of the most challenging and tragic calls" in the city's law enforcement history. McKichan revealed that there were five other children inside the residence who saw the killing in front of their eyes. The police chief showered praise on Rodriguez for saving his mother's life and thereby making the ultimate sacrifice.
"Despite everyone's best efforts we were unable to save the young man who acted the most heroically of anyone yesterday," he wrote. "All of us wanted a different outcome for him. What he did in the defense of his family was incredible and should be recognized. His love for his mother and his siblings was proven without a doubt and all who responded and have knowledge of the investigation were moved by his actions. He saved their lives."
"I hope in time and with the family involved that we can recognize him for what he did," he added.
According to the Star-Tribune, responding officers found the mother outside the house bleeding from a stab wound to the neck. They found her son bleeding on a couch, and emergency responders rushed him to a hospital shortly after, but in vain. Officers found Vaca hiding in a bathroom holding a knife. After failing to convince him to drop the knife, authorities subdued him with a Taser. They subsequently found five children hiding upstairs.
According to the charges, Vaca and his wife were embroiled in a vicious argument in their bedroom - prompting one of the children to ask Julio for help. The 15-year-old kicked in the bedroom door and found Vaca on top of his mother, choking her. When the son intervened, Vaca got off his wife, grabbed a knife, and stabbed the youngster.
During interrogation, Vaca revealed that he and his wife were arguing about his new job, which he had reportedly quit the night before. He admitted to stabbing young Julio and kissing the other children goodbye because he intended to kill himself. When he was informed that the boy had died, Vaca reportedly told detectives, "I'm a murderer," and dropped his head, per the Star-Tribune.
A Facebook fundraiser was established by Carina Rodriguez to help pay for her nephew's funeral. It has already exceeded its original goal of $8,000.
13-year old Lliana Reyes told KAAL-TV she's Cesar's best friend. She said she wasn't surprised that Cesar died fighting for his mother. "He was very wild. He had a big heart just different ways of showing it. Didn't let that many people know it but he was very shy, but he was an amazing friend. No matter how many fights he got in with somebody he would always be there for somebody. He really loved his family and he loved his mom the most," Reyes told the outlet.