Police identify toddler allegedly stabbed to death by dad in full view of neighbors

A Texas man suspected of fatally stabbing his 16-month-old son before a neighbor shot him from a second-floor balcony remained hospitalized Monday as authorities revealed the name of the toddler who died following the horrific attack.

The child was identified by the Tarrant County medical’s examiner office as Ashton Ness. The boy’s cause of death was not listed, WFAA reports.

The boy’s father, whose name has not been released, was shot in the leg Sunday afternoon at the Oak Forrest Apartments in Lewisville by a quick-thinking neighbor who grabbed a firearm to prevent further injuries to the child, who later died, police said.

“I opened up my blinds and I saw a man next to a child on the ground,” the shooter, who was identified as Andrew Austin, told WFAA. “He stabbed the child with a knife, so I grabbed my gun and went out onto my balcony. He walked away and was heading back towards the kid. I yelled at him to stop and he didn’t so I shot three rounds at him. He dropped to his knees and asked not to be shot again.”

Austin will not face criminal charges, police said Monday.

The man was later arrested by responding officers. He had surgery Monday afternoon and was being treated for a gunshot wound and serious injuries to his hand, most likely caused by a knife used in the attack. He isn’t expected to be transferred to jail until Tuesday at the earliest, Lewisville police Capt. Mike Lane told the Dallas Morning News.

“We don’t want to release his name because right now he’s guarded by police officers, but it’s not a real secure facility,” Lane told the newspaper.

Messages seeking comment from the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office were not immediately returned early Tuesday.

Edward Carranza, who lives at the apartment complex with his wife, told The Post he was taking a nap when he heard several people screaming. He initially ignored the commotion until he heard several gunshots and went outside. Carranza then saw the man holding the child and standing in a “big pool of blood,” he said.

“He had an evil look,” Carranza told The Post. “The look that he had in his eyes was not a normal look.”

Carranza said the man was “trying to get people to come toward him,” screaming “Come on” repeatedly to get people’s attention. Another witness told police the father was also yelling “Jesus is coming,” according to the Dallas Morning News. Lewisville police Capt. Jesse Hunter later confirmed that detail to The Post.

There were no police records of prior incidents at the apartment or previous reports involving Child Protective Services, Hunter said.

The bloody attack, meanwhile, has left witnesses and responding officers reeling, KDFW reports.

“The officers were quite distraught,” Lane told the station. “… I saw the tail end of some of the video. Just a reaction afterwards was pretty moving.”

Another woman said she’ll never forget seeing a father stab his own child, a “terrifying” vision.

“I am going to be scarred for life,” witness Jolyn Zapatos told the station.

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