Deputies investigate stabbing in Fleming Island

Hours later, residents say they saw suspicious man in neighborhood

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – Deputies are investigating after one person was stabbed Thursday morning in Fleming Island, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said.

It happened about 7 a.m. on Pine Avenue near Springbrook Drive, just south of Paterson Elementary School. The school was not placed on lockdown. 

Deputies said one person was taken to a hospital after the stabbing and a second person also was injured in the incident. 

Just hours later, neighbors said they saw a suspicious man in the same area where deputies were investigating the stabbing.

Lisa Kemp said she was standing next to her garage when the strange man quickly walked up to her in her driveway.

"I got frightened because of the look that was on his face," Kemp said. "He didn't look like someone that just needed assistance."

That's when her neighbor, Brady Hollenbacher, came to her rescue. He said he immediately reacted when he saw the man approach Kemp.

"I saw him make a beeline going toward her. So I raced in my car, rolled down my window, and I yelled out my window at the guy," Hollenbacher said. "And he, kind of, looked over his shoulder, still had a towel covering his face a little bit, and he just took off."

Hollenbacher said he was following the man in his car because the same man had just tried to break into his house.

Both Hollenbacher and Kemp called police. The two said officers told them the suspicious man was the same person they were looking for in connection with the stabbing earlier that morning.

"I really, truly feel like he was going to hurt her," Hollenbacher said. 

Deputies told News4Jax that no arrests have been made in the stabbing, and they're looking into whether the suspicious man and the stabbing suspect are the same person.

“It was unnerving," Kemp said. "It didn’t really hit me until afterwards when I started to think about how badly it could have gone, because I was home alone. The garage door was up.”

Kemp called Hollenbacher her hero. Although they had never met until Thursday, she said, he's now a neighbor she knows she can always count on. 

The investigation into the stabbing is ongoing.

About the Authors: