When he saw his mother being choked by his stepdad, he intervened to save her life.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 31, 2020. It has since been updated.
Trigger warning: Domestic abuse
Parents are usually the ones who protect their kids from the harms of the world, but who protects them when they are the ones who need protection? A 15-year-old boy proved that kids can be heroes as well when required. The boy identified as Julio Cesar Rodriguez by his family became his mother's savior but lost his life in the process.
According to the murder charges, the teen blocked a knife attack on his mother by his stepfather but in doing so, he ended up being fatally stabbed. The attack happened in the family's Austin, Minnesota, home, reported Star Tribune.
The stepfather, Jaime A. Vaca, 27, was charged in Mower County District Court with second-degree murder and first-degree assault for killing the young boy and wounding the 35-year-old mother on Wednesday, December 16. He was jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail ahead of a court appearance on Friday, December 18.
Jaime was found in the house hiding inside the bathroom with the knife. After he failed to follow police instructions, he had to be tasered before the arrest. The police are yet to release the identity of the mother and son officially.
ABC 6 News revealed that the police arrived at the crime scene on Tuesday morning, December 15, after a domestic call. They found the mother on the front lawn with a stab wound on her neck. She disclosed that her son was inside the house on the couch, wounded. Both mom and son were rushed to Mayo Clinic Saint Marys where the woman is now fighting for her life; however, the 15-year-old succumbed to his injuries. The officers also found five children, the boy's siblings, hiding upstairs.
In a statement on Facebook, as cited by ABC 6 News, Austin Police Chief David McKichan said that it was "one of the most challenging and tragic calls I can recall in our city's history. … Arriving officers and deputies found a scene in which they needed to provide immediate medical aid to two victims for severe wounds, secure a suspect using nonlethal means if possible, and protect yet unharmed individuals in the home — all of whom were children."
“There were other hero’s already in that house yesterday before we arrived. Despite everyone’s best efforts we were unable to save the young man who acted the most heroically of anyone yesterday. All of us wanted a different outcome for him. What he did in the defense of his family was incredible and should be recognized," he continued.
"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."
As per reports by Star Tribune, Jamie was arguing with the boy's mother in their bedroom when one of his younger siblings asked him for help. When the 15-year-old kicked open the bedroom door which was locked, he saw Jamie on top of the woman, choking her. As expected, the boy tried to intervene but in the process, Jamie grabbed a knife and stabbed him.
When the detectives asked Jamie what the argument was about, he revealed that the fight was regarding his new job that he quit the night before the incident. He admitted to stabbing the young boy and then kissing the younger kids goodbye as he was planning to kill himself. After the detectives told him that the boy had passed away, all he said was, "I'm a murderer."