LEWISVILLE, Texas - Witness video shows police hauling away a father minutes after he stabbed and beat his toddler son to death in front of horrified neighbors.
It is the aftermath of a crime that has shaken the people who saw it and the Lewisville police officers who tried to help.
Sunday afternoon’s attack was stopped by a neighbor with a gun who shot and wounded the father from a second floor balcony.
Police say the father is still in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound and recovering from the cuts to his hand from stabbing his son. They have not yet released his name. That will likely happen on Tuesday when police expect him to be released from the hospital, booked into jail and charged with capital murder.
Edwardo Carranza shot video as police dragged off the man they say slammed, beat and stabbed his 16-month old son to death. The toddler has since been identified as Ashton Ness.
The man’s screaming is what got witness James Ellis’ attention. He said the man was screaming “Everybody come outside! Everybody come outside! Nobody’s gonna stop this!”
Ellis can barely describe what he saw in this apartment complex courtyard. He called 911 as he and others watched in horror.
“I thought it was just a domestic dispute,” Ellis said. “That’s when he picked up the baby up over his head and just slammed him on the ground on the concrete. He walked a few steps and turned around and kneeled down and just started stabbing him.”
“Actually seeing a father stab his own child in front of my face is terrifying,” said witness Jolyn Zapatos. “I am going to be scarred for life.”
One man who didn’t want his face shown says he wanted to get his family safely inside before going out to help.
“I’m about ready to go out and then I heard two gunshots,” the man recalled. “The next thing you know I went back to check and I see the guy laying down screaming at the other dude like ‘Shoot me! Shoot me! Kill me! Kill me!’ Then, he started doing a bunch of God scriptures.”
Police say a neighbor from this second-story apartment balcony heard the commotion, got his gun and fired three shots across the courtyard to stop the father. Police say one bullet struck him in the leg.
Seconds later, police arrived. A spokesman says body camera video, which has not been released, shows the toll the ordeal took on the officers as well.
“The officers were quite distraught. The ones that were there,” said Lewisville Police Capt. Mike Lane. “I saw the tail end of some of the video. Just a reaction afterwards was pretty moving.”
Police say the child’s mother was at work when the toddler was killed. Neighbors placed teddy bears and small toys in the courtyard in support of her and as a memorial to the victim.
“There were children who were witnesses to that, rather than adults,” Lane said. “I know of at least two children already who have been interviewed with Child Advocacy Center representatives.”
Kendal Newman and Justin Anschuetz added the monkey to this growing memorial for Ashton at the apartment. Notes read, “RIP lil’ one” and “We wish you the best life, precious soul.” They hope the mother is getting the help she needs.
“She has to be so alone. If I knew who she was, I would bring her dinner,” said resident Kendal Newman. “If there’s anything I could do. I mean… that’s part of the reason we came out here. We just want to help. There has to be such pain in that household right now.”
Police say there was no record of previous incidents or calls to that apartment and that CPS had no previous contact with the family.
Police say the man who shot the father to stop the attack will not face criminal charges.