Three children stabbed in Los Angeles on Wednesday were killed by a box cutter. The boys’ father, Luis Fuentes, stabbed each child to death in the back seat of a car. Reportedly, he then turned the blade on himself but survived, according to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday night.
A business owner called in the stabbings early Wednesday morning. John Sorrentino’s furniture store is located next to the crime scene in the 300 block of East 32nd Street. Sorrentino was the first to find the bloody scene in South Los Angeles. Sorrentino ran back inside his store where he called 911 to report an assault with a deadly weapon.
Said Sorrentino, “I noticed a guy was all bloody as I walked up to the car. As I approached a little bit closer, I noticed a young boy on a passenger side rear seat crouched against the door, blood all over him, and his eyes were half open, and I looked to see if there was any kind of beat on his chest and there was nothing.”
According to Sorrentino, Fuentes was still breathing but covered in blood. Fuentes was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. All three unnamed boys, ranging in age from 8 to 12, were declared dead at the scene.
Los Angeles Police Officer Matthew Ludwig said Fuentes will be arrested and charged with murder after he’s released from the hospital. Police believe that Fuentes parked the SUV near the South Los Angeles Dolores Huerta Elementary School before 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Fuentes, who’s believed to be in his 30s, then stabbed each of his children to death in the back seat.
One boy was found dead leaning against a door, another was found dead bent over a seat while the third boy was found dead lying upright in the back. A motive for the killings is unclear, but the boys’ aunt, Xiomora Mena, said Fuentes and his current wife had an argument, possibly over finances, before Fuentes left their home with all three children.
According to Mena, Fuentes’ wife begged him not to take the kids. Fuentes left the couple’s youngest son at home. Rene Chanquin, a cousin to the father, said that Fuentes loved his kids and he doesn’t understand what would drive him to do something like this. Fuentes reportedly had a clean record with no arrests or history of domestic violence.
Fuentes’ wounds are believed to be self-inflicted. “It didn’t look like an attack on him,” said Sorrentino. The doors were closed on the SUV and Sorrentino said Fuentes had a box cutter close by, reports the Gawker. An employee for Sorrentino and father of five, Daniel Avalos, said, “Stuff like that kind of happens around here. But the fact that it’s children; that’s heart-wrenching. It’s hard to think about.”
The boys’ mother died of an aneurysm in 2008, and it’s not known if the boys were living with their father and stepmother. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says the incident leaves a scar on the community. Mena remembers her nephews, saying they were all normal kids and happy kids. She went on to say that it’s a pain she can’t describe.