Heroic Neighbor Scheduled for Surgery After Being Stabbed Trying to Help Domestic Violence Victim


Police crime scene tape near the incident. [Photo by Jennifer Scot.]

A man trying to help a victim of a domestic violence incident in McKinleyville was stabbed in the neck earlier this morning and will have surgery today.

Last night a man and a woman got into a domestic dispute. According Lt. Dennis Young of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, the man left and then tried to return. “The woman wouldn’t let him in,” he explained. “She yelled for her neighbor.”

The neighbor came to her assistance, said Young. “He was trying to stop it.”

According to scanner traffic, the neighbor was stabbed in the neck and is now in serious condition at a local hospital. “They are doing surgery today,” Young said.

Law enforcement received a call about 12:10 a.m. and officers were dispatched to the scene two minutes later but the suspect had fled before they arrived on scene.

Young said they have a name of the suspect but “no descriptors.”

UPDATE 8:30 p.m.: Suspect captured. Go here for more info.

Earlier Chapter: Man Stabbed in Neck in McKinleyville



  • A gun works well against a knife…

  • What’s the suspects name?

  • I wonder why the woman is not helping describe and catch her tormentor. There must be something we don’t know… because nobody would do that, would they? Call for help in a domestic violence dispute, then totally diss the rescuer by shielding the violent thug?

    • Maybe because she is a relative of the person stabbed and is in shock and can only give the name at this point.

  • The guy who got stabbed was my brother David. The guy who stabbed him is named Michael Smith. I know, because I was there. We were on the phone with 911 at it took 30 minutes for 1 police officer to arrive. Not ONE single person went to help that lady. Only US. And NOT one single person came out when we all were screaming for help! My brother, saved my life, her life, he saved my family. Before people start yapping. He is not violent. He is not on drugs. He’s a good man and tried to do the right thing and got hurt in the process.

    • Kai, would you like to contact me and tell me what happened? mskymkemp@gmail.com?

    • People make me so angry. the comments are crazy. they don’t know the situation and are so quick to throw out drugs. I spent some time with your neighbor this am. She says your brother is a major hero. Sorry for what your family is going through.

    • “We were on the phone with 911 at it took 30 minutes for 1 police officer to arrive.”

      While I understand your frustration, when you choose to live in an unincorporated area and depend on the county-wide resources of the sheriff for police protection, then the possibility of slow response times is a fact of life.

      Perhaps McKinleyville should consider incorporating, taxing itself, and establishing a local police department. You’re not that much smaller than Arcata, right?

  • LeAnna Carson-Hansen

    My sincerest hope and prayers are for your dear brother to do well in the surgery and in his recovery. May the “alleged” perp not be out on bail and the gal in need of help get all the resources needed to not be harmed by the “alleged” criminal. I don’t do well on jury duty because I see all too often the travesty of justice in this sorry world. May the gal get connected with the victim assistance advocate as well as your brother. I don’t understand why it took so long for the LEO response to the scene. I know they are hard pressed and our family lives in a rural area where response time can be up to two hours. So a thirty minute response time is pretty sad for you all. Thankfully the “alleged” was caught.

  • not sure he was caught judging from the article,he fled the scene.

    • Here’s the Sheriff’s press release:

      Michael Shawn Smith – age 40 was located by the Fortuna Police Department in Fortuna on 06/10/2016 at about 4:00 PM. The
      Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and arrested Smith for attempted murder and domestic violence.

      Smith was booked into the Humboldt County Jail.

  • I am wishing healing for the man that came to this woman’s help….I hope his surgery went well and that he can have all the support he will need.

  • Thank you everyone. My brother is recovering well. He will be okay! And we are moving out of ICU soon.

  • Thank you for telling us Kai. Very good news!

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