Assault victims thankful they weren’t killed by homicide suspect at Motel 6

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Motel 6 assault victims hurt on Tuesday spoke with FOX 4 on Wednesday. The same suspect in a south Kansas City homicide, Brandon Howell, is also the suspect in the assaults. The victims say they are certain they were next to die.

"He was preying on his next victim," said Kenny Gage, one of the victims.

Gage said he made eye contact with a mysterious man standing downstairs as he headed up to his room.

"I think his motive, most likely, was to get my keys, get in my room, and hide out there, because he knew he was wanted," added Gage.

He says that man was Howell. He said Howell followed him, asking for a lighter, so he went in his room to get one.

"As soon as I did, he bum rushed into my room, grabbed me around my neck, pushed the door shut," Gage said. "I hollered for my son to call the police, and the guy got startled, he didn't realize my son was with me."

Denise Elder, who was just a couple of doors down, saw the everything unfold.

"I was at my door, scrambling to get my key in," she recalled. "Mr. Kenny (Gage) came scrambling out yelling, 'help, help!'" Elder said.

She said Howell was running after Gage, and as he pursued him:

"As I turned my head to look at him, that's when he grazed my cheek with his fist. He missed my glasses and then my earring was missing," added Elder.

That's when she went in her room, locked the door, and called the police.

"I was scared," she said.

"And he grabbed on to me, started throwing me over the rail," Gage added.

Both Gage and Elder say everything happened so fast, and before they knew it, the cops showed up. Within a few hours, police had Howell in custody, and Gage didn't hesitate to help identify him.

"I want to take a look at this guy, I want to make sure you got the right guy because I want to sleep tonight!" said Gage, who feels he and his son could have been next.

"I'm alive to talk today, my son's alive, and we're very thankful," he said.

Both victims say they thank God and the police for protecting them. Gage says he will have to go to the hospital to get stitches and make sure nothing is broken.

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