2 men who came to rescue describe attempted murder-suicide stabbing attack in Ponte Vedra Beach

Jaguars donate $5K to GoFundMe for man injured trying to stop attack on 2 women outside Mr. Chubby’s Wings

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – A man who was injured over the weekend when he intervened during an attempted murder-suicide stabbing outside a St. Johns County restaurant is being hailed as a hero by his community.

Kennedy Armstrong literally dove into action Saturday afternoon when he and his friend Jimmy Stepp arrived at Mr. Chubby’s Wings on Valley Circle and saw a woman being attacked.

Armstrong said he saw a man on top of a woman on the sidewalk “pounding down on her chest,” and he couldn’t tell if the man had a knife or was just using his fist, but he took off running and knocked the man off the woman.

“I hit the kid as hard as I could,” Armstrong said.

He was injured in the process and will need surgery on his arm, which was sliced in the scuffle.

A GoFundMe created to support Armstrong’s recovery and any medical expenses had raised more than $21,000 by Monday afternoon, including a $5,000 donation made Monday by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I love the Jaguars. Duval, always. That seems unreal,” Armstrong said. “The whole situation. That’s awesome.”

Armstrong said the surgery will reconnect some nerves and an artery and hopefully repair some scarring.

Kennedy Armstrong (Courtesy of family)

Stepp said he and Armstrong were coming to the restaurant to grab a bite to eat after work when they got out of Armstrong’s truck and heard someone screaming.

“Kennedy Armstrong, who is, I want to say, the hero in this whole thing. He tackled the gentleman off and caught a slash on his hand,” Stepp said.

But Armstrong credited Stepp with assisting him in stopping the attack.

“Shout out to him big time,” said Armstrong, who has been in touch with the family of the two women he helped rescue, one of whom is a local teenager.

Her mother released the following statement:

“I would please ask for privacy at this time but ask everyone to pray for my daughter. She is the strongest, most amazing person I know. We owe huge gratitude to that young man Kennedy for saving Madison’s life and to the incredible trauma team, neurosurgeons and hospital staff at Memorial Hospital.”

A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help Madison and her mother, who was also severely injured in the attack. It had raised more than $53,000 as of Monday afternoon.

Deputies identified the attacker as 18-year-old Spencer Pearson and said the attempted murder-suicide was targeted against “a primary victim,” whom Pearson knew.

Armstrong said after he knocked the man off, he saw the attacker -- later identified as Pearson -- stab himself “a couple of times.”

RELATED: 18-year-old accused of attacking 2 women with knife in attempted murder-suicide at Ponte Vedra Beach restaurant

Pearson is in the hospital being treated for self-inflicted injuries. Investigators said if he survives, he will face multiple felonies, including attempted murder.

Stepp said he personally came out of the incident “totally untouched,” but he is still mentally a little shaken by the experience.

“It’s something you never expect to see. [I’m] trying to process everything and pray for everyone involved,” he said, adding that he wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. “It’s kind of a moment [where] you don’t think about what you’re doing. Something in you just tells you to do the right thing, and I felt that was the right thing.”

Mr. Chubby’s Wings posted a statement on its Facebook page.

“We would like to pray for the safe recovery of everyone involved in the incident outside our Ponte Vedra location. A huge Chubby thank you to Kennedy and Jimmy for your help stopping the situation. Truly Heroic. Thank you to all the first responders. Mr. Chubby’s Wings has the best customers in the world. Thank you.”

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.