LAND O'LAKES — A teenage boy was sprawled out on the grass of Luis Rivera's modest front yard, a bloody, frantic and frightened mess.
The boy was clearly in need of serious and immediate medical care. But his attention could not be swayed from the grisly scene unfolding in his home across the street, Rivera said.
"The kid was saying his mom had been stabbed five times," Rivera said. "He was bleeding really, really badly but he kept saying that his mom was being killed over there."
When Pasco sheriff's deputies arrived at the home at 3400 Tarbolton Way about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, they immediately confirmed what the teen had told his neighbor: A woman in her mid-to-late 30s was found dead in the home and a man was taken into custody. The teenage boy was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with potentially life-threatening injuries, according to the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
"It appears to be a domestic-related incident," said Doug Tobin, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. "The male has already been taken into custody and will probably have interviews with the detectives."
As of Sunday night, the man had not been charged in the slaying. Witnesses at the scene said the man was believed to be the woman's husband and the teen's stepfather.
Dozens of residents in the Ballantrae subdivision gathered in their front yards and in the streets Sunday evening, stunned at the presence of police officers, yellow crime-scene tape and television cameras in their usually peaceful neighborhood.
"We've never had anything like this over here," said neighbor Barbara Lopriore, whose home sits directly across the street from 3400 Tarbolton. "This is a nice, upscale neighborhood. We've never heard a word about anything like this before."
Rivera and Richard Solkin, president of the local homeowners association, watched officers work the crime scene from the sidewalk. Solkin was headed to dinner with his wife earlier in the day when one of the neighborhood boys stopped him in his truck and told him that something terrible had happened.
Solkin dashed back to his home for a first-aid kit and called 911.
Rivera said he tended to the boy and tried to stop the bleeding to no avail.
"He's definitely a strong kid. … He was stabbed so bad you could see his lungs," Rivera said. "I hope he makes it through this."
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.