FACEBOOK Julio Cesar Guadalupe Rodriguez
A 15-year-old Minnesota boy was fatally stabbed while defending his mom from an alleged knife attack by his stepfather.
Julio Cesar Guadalupe Rodriguez, 15, died in Austin, Minnesota, on Tuesday after being stabbed by his mother's husband, police allege.
According to police, the teen got between his 35-year-old mother and her husband, 27-year-old Jaime Vaca, during an alleged episode of domestic violence.
Rodriguez's mother was seriously wounded, but is expected to survive. The boy died at the scene as paramedics worked to save him.
Vaca has been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree assault for allegedly stabbing the boy to death and assaulting his wife.
In a post to Facebook, Austin Police Chief David McKichan called the incident "one of the most challenging and tragic calls" in the city's history.
The chief noted that there were five other children inside the home who witnessed the killing.
McKichan also praised Rodriguez for making the ultimate sacrifice.
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"Despite everyone's best efforts we were unable to save the young man who acted the most heroically of anyone yesterday," he wrote. "All of us wanted a different outcome for him. What he did in the defense of his family was incredible and should be recognized. His love for his mother and his siblings was proven without a doubt and all who responded and have knowledge of the investigation were moved by his actions. He saved their lives."
He added: "I hope in time and with the family involved that we can recognize him for what he did."
A Facebook fundraiser has been established online to help pay for Rodriguez's funeral.
PEOPLE was unable to ascertain if Vaca had entered pleas to the charges or had a lawyer to comment on the allegations for him.