A family dog and a Good Samaritan are credited with saving the life of a 67-year-old wheelchair-bound man who was stabbed in his Lacey home Monday.
Thurston County detectives say "Bella," a pit bull mix hound, helped alert police that a man was in the middle of a rampage Monday afternoon.
Neighbor Terri Lynne found Bella wandering not far from her house. She grabbed Bella to return the dog to her owner. When Lynne followed Bella inside the home on Marvin Road, she found Bella's 67-year-old owner lying on the ground in a pool of blood next to his wheelchair. The victim had a screw driver stabbed into the side of his neck. The woman immediately called 911 and medics immediately transported the man to a hospital with critical injuries.
"I don't think I did as much as that dog did," said Lynne.
Gay Nell Bare lives behind the house where the man was stabbed. Bare said she saw the dog after paramedics and police arrived at the home.
"You could see how sad, how terribly sad the dog was," said Bare. "The dog knew."
Bare said the owner was very close to his dog. Another dog staying at his home also ran out after the stabbing. It was hit by a car and died.
While deputies were at the 67-year-old man's home, they received a 911 call from another man who came home and found his wife dead in their garage.
In a 911 recording, the murder victim's husband told a dispatcher he knew her son, Tyler Lewis, was responsible. Lewis' stepfather told the dispatcher Lewis is delusional and the family had been trying to get him help.
He added that his stepson drove a brown Ford F-150. The car matched the same description of a vehicle that was spotted at the first stabbing victim's driveway earlier in the day.
Responding police officers found the female victim lying on the ground with a screw driver into the side of her neck.
As police searched the premises, Lewis arrived at the house in his brown Ford F-150. Lewis was taken into police custody. He was being held on $2 million bail.
According to court documents, Lewis told investigators that he had been at his mother's house when they had a small argument. There was a struggle and he "did what happened to her." Lewis said that he had also gone to the house of the first stabbing victim, who was an old neighbor and friend. Lewis said he was being a "good friend" and helping him go to a better place so that he would not suffer anymore."
The 67-year-old man suffered a severe spinal cord injury and numerous lacerations to his hands and head, likely received while he was trying to defend himself in the attack. Due to his injuries, he will likely be a quadriplegic and will require a ventilation machine to breath. He was last listed in critical condition.
Meanwhile, the family of the fatally stabbed woman released the following statement:
We the family of Frankie Austin are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our mother, grandmother and wife. We are devastated beyond words. We ask at this time that you respect our privacy and allow us time to grieve.
Watch a full report by KING 5's Drew Mikkelsen with updates on this developing story tonight on KING 5 News at 5 p.m.