KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The road to recovery might be long for a stabbing victim in Kansas City, Kansas.
Stephanie Perez, 46, is one of two people believed to have been stabbed by the same man on Tuesday in the city’s Argentine neighborhood.
On Wednesday, her loved ones said she was headed for the next of several surgeries to address wounds on her hands, shoulders and neck.
Police said the other victim died, and KCK officers shot the suspect when he threatened them.
Perez’s family members want to know why anyone would threatened their daughter.
“He got her from the back, and she kicked and she put her hands up and everything,” Laura Villegas, Perez’ mother, said. “(Paramedics) wouldn’t let me see her. I was so scared.”
Villegas said her daughter has wounds to her hands, shoulder and neck, and more surgery will be performed soon. Another procedure was due to happen on Wednesday afternoon at a local hospital.
On Wednesday, KCKPD identified the suspect as John McGriff, 32, of KCK. Detectives believe he also stabbed his father, Samuel McGriff, before he accosted Stephanie.
An email from the police says they shared an apartment at the Simmons Senior Living Center at 37th and Strong Avenue. A police spokesperson said the elder McGriff’s body remains showed stab wounds.
Police officers shot John McGriff when he allegedly threatened them with the knife.
The police department said McGriff is still in the hospital in critical condition.
He has been charged by the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office with aggravated battery, mistreatment of a dependent adult or elder person and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. He has been given a $250,000 bond on these three charges.
The DA’s office says more charges are coming later.
“Why would you hit an innocent person? She wouldn’t hurt anybody. She would give you anything. If you asked for a dollar, she’d give it to you,” Villegas said.
Perez’s family members said she was walking home from her volunteer job at Emmanuel Lutheran Church at 32nd and Metropolitan, where she helps in the community food pantry.
Ruperto Aguirre, her uncle, hopes to see her work there again soon. The family said Perez lives with a condition that affects her muscle movements and speech.
“She’s very innocent. She’s not outspoken or anything. To have happened to her like this, or to anyone, it’s tragedy,” Aguirre said.
Neighbors in Argentine said their home is safe and they’re rallying to help Stephanie. That includes managers at the Grounded Sole Coffee Shop, where owner Taylor Penrod is collecting greeting cards of support for Perez. Penrod said half of Wednesday’s profits are being donated to Perez’s family to pay her expenses.
“When the people of Argentine gather in community, they encourage each other. Today has felt like a lot of hugging, a lot of telling stories, a lot of prayer and a lot of writing cards. It’s really encouraging,” Penrod said.
KCK police are still investigating the stabbings. One police detective told Villegas he’ll walk Stephanie to the food pantry as soon as she can return to work.
Family friends have started this GoFundMe campaign to help with Perez’s medical bills.
The Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting involving KCK officers.