The children who were fatally stabbed in Los Angeles by their father while sitting in the family’s SUV have been identified as Luis Alfanso Fuentes, 10, Juan Daniel Fuentes, 9, and Alexander Fuentes, 8. The children’s father, who is the prime suspect in the fatal stabbing of his three sons, was hospitalized and is in critical condition.
According to local pastor Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, the father was unemployed and he and his three sons were living in the SUV, reports NBC Los Angeles on September 10. The children’s biological mother died several years ago. Police were able to locate the boys’ step-mother and a younger child who was in daycare at the time of the crime. Both are unharmed.
On Wednesday morning, around 6:45 a.m., South Los Angeles businessman John Sorrentino came across a grisly sight in a silver Nissan SUV that was parked across the street from Dolores Huerta Elementary School.
“I walked over toward the vehicle and I saw an individual slumped in the seat,” Sorrentino said. “As I started to get a little bit closer I saw blood all over him.” In the back of the SUV, Sorrentino found two dead boys and one boy who was still alive. “The one boy I saw face to face,” Sorrentino said. “He had blood all over him.”
According to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, by the time police arrived, all three children were found with fatal stab wounds in the rear seat of the SUV. The dad, who was seated in the front of the vehicle, was found bloodied and suffering from stab wounds. A knife was found at the scene. LAPD Officer Matthew Ludwig confirmed that the man in the front seat of the SUV was the boys’ father Luis Fuentes, and that he was suspected in the children’s death.
It is still unclear to authorities why the SUV was parked at Dolores Huerta Elementary School since the stabbed three children did not attend school there but were enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The Rev. Rudy Cruz said that the Fuentes family had visited an Aug. 29 block party where community members distributed backpacks and other items.
“They were a very sweet family,” said the Rev. Rudy Cruz. “It’s really difficult. All we can do is offer hope and love and prayers. I believe he lost his way, he lost hope.”
“It’s a pain that I can’t describe,” said aunt Xiomara Mena. “They were happy. They were kids, normal kids, happy kids.”
“He loved his kids and it’s hard for me to see him do something like this. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know what drove him to do something like this,” said Rene Chanquin, the father’s cousin.
“Times are tough for everybody, that’s not an excuse to do anything to three children who can’t defend themselves,” said family friend Ari Girona.