Knowing your neighbors is usually a good thing and that was the case for one woman living in a south Kansas City neighborhood when somebody stepped in after she was shot and stabbed.
Police spent the day processing the crime scene in the area of McGee Street, near 96th and it included a U-Haul van the suspect had used to get to the woman's home.
Friday, the Jackson County Prosecutor announced a 65-year-old Independence man was charged in the woman's attack. Edward D. Valdepena faces two counts of first-degree domestic assault resulting in serious physical injury, first-degree domestic assault and three counts of armed criminal action.
Neighbors said it was the booming sound of a U-Haul van slamming into the home that brought them running to help.
"We've all been kind of watching for the sister to make sure she's OK," neighbor Jannie Watts said.
Neighbors said they've been watching out for the woman who moved into the home with her sister a few months back, trying to get away from her abusive ex, Valdepena. Police said she had a protection order against him.
"He's (Valdepena) been stopped out here several times, but normally he drives a big dark-colored car," Watts said.
Thursday morning, Valdepena came back to the house driving a U-Haul. People in the neighborhood said they didn't recognize it, but had seen it speeding up and down the street.
"Evidently he was getting up enough speed to ram the house with the van," Watts said.
The neighbor who intervened didn't want to give his name, but said he is a military veteran and he didn't hesitate to jump in to save a friend.
"Knowing what I know of what's been going on, I just grabbed my shotgun and handgun and ran over there," the neighbor said. "I ran around the back and kicked the door, and when she came out, I got her behind me and just held the gun on him and got him on the ground."
The brave neighbor then told the injured woman, who was both stabbed and shot, to run across the street. A blood stain was left behind, showing where the woman made it safely to other waiting neighbors.
"We got her down on the ground across the street and held pressure on her injuries," Watts said.
The neighbor held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived.
"I just put him on the ground and told him to shut up. Well I told him he had the right to be quiet because I was getting tired of hearing him," the neighbor said.
Officers told the neighbor he saved the woman's life, but he's not taking the credit so easily.
"I'm not a hero," he said. "I'm a neighbor, a friend."
The neighbor said the worst thing, he believes, that's happened to neighborhoods is getting rid of porches. He said it's so important to get out and get to know your neighbors, which was very helpful in Thursday's situation.
Neighbors said, when the victim was headed to the hospital, she was conscious and able to talk. Her current condition is unknown at this time.
Valdepena was taken into custody.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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