OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) – Relatives are calling a young boy a hero after they say he helped his mother escape a violent attack at their home on Old Columbus Road in Opelika, AL.
Opelika Police say the boy's father stabbed his mother 17 times before turning the knife on himself.
Nearby relative, Ted Watkins, wrestled the father to the ground after hearing the boy's screams for help.
"When I got to the driveway I heard the little boy scream, 'He's trying to kill my mother," said Watkins, "She was bloody from head to toe. I helped her get down the steps and I went inside and her husband was stabbing himself in the stomach with a long green handled butcher knife I was able to wrestle the butcher knife from him. He grabbed another knife and began to cut his throat. I was able to grab his hand and get the knife away from him then threw him to the floor and put my foot on him and made him stay there till police arrived."
Late Saturday afternoon, both the victim and suspect were taken to East Alabama Medical Center.
The victim was treated and released. Relatives say the woman had 81 inches of cuts – resulting in 200 stitches.
Watkins says they were fighting constantly about getting divorced, "He was going to live with her or die with her -- that's the words he said."
The mother told Watkins when her son broke the window, it startled her husband, giving her the seconds she needed to escape.
Watkins says if it wasn't for the couples young child, the father might have carried through with that threat, "She got up and was able to get out the door just as I was coming in. So yes, essentially he saved her life."
Police say the suspect is still in the hospital and they can't release his name until he's charged with attempted murder.
News Leader 9 is following this story. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as it becomes available.