Police: Teen fatally stabbed by stepdad while protecting mother from attack

A teenage boy stepped in to save his mother from an attack by her husband, only to end up being fatally stabbed by the man, authorities said.

Authorities are calling the teen a hero, noting that five younger children were hiding upstairs during the attack Tuesday and were not hurt.

According to criminal charges, Jaime Vaca, 27, and his wife were arguing in their bedroom when one of the younger children got the teenage boy to help. The teen kicked in the bedroom door as Vaca was choking his mother. Vaca stopped when the son intervened, grabbed a knife and stabbed the boy, the charges say.

Vaca was charged Wednesday in Mower County District Court with second-degree murder and first-degree assault. He was scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday, according to the Star Tribune.

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Austin Police Chief David McKichan said in a Facebook post that the violence prompted "one of the most challenging and tragic calls I can recall in our city’s history."

The complaint said officers found the woman outside with a stab wound to the neck and her son bleeding on a couch. Vaca was hiding in a bathroom with a knife, which he refused to drop. He was subdued with a stun gun. The officers found five children hiding upstairs.

Vaca allegedly told detectives he stabbed the boy then went upstairs and kissed the other kids goodbye because he intended to kill himself. When a detective told Vaca the boy died, he replied, "I’m a murderer," the complaint says.

Authorities haven’t released the names of the woman or the son. But McKichan commended the boy’s actions.

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"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," McKichan wrote on Facebook. "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."

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