A man was killed after he helped a young woman ward off a purse thief in an apartment complex, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Michael Proulx told KPHO he stepped outside his town home near 46th Street and Broadway around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning and heard screaming.
“All I heard was someone saying someone got stabbed — call 911, call the police.”
Phoenix police Officer James Holmes said a small group of people was standing outside a residence in the area of 48th Street and Broadway Road at around 12:30 a.m. when a dark-skinned male wearing all black clothing approached.
Holmes said the suspect attempted to grab a woman’s purse. Miguel Jose Briseno came to her aid and the two men got into a physical fight. According to witnesses, the suspect let go of the purse and ran away.
Shortly after the suspect fled, the group of bystanders noticed Miguel was bleeding from the neck area.
Proulx recalls, “A lot of people were standing around him saying stop the bleeding — stop the bleeding.” Miguel Jose Briseno, a 42-year-old father of 3 children, later died at the hospital.
ABC 15 reported on Miguel’s sister, Maria Briseno’s agonizing grief and plea for help to find the purse thief.
“We all don’t know how we’re going to get through this because he’s not there anymore. If somebody saw something, if somebody heard something, please come forward. Please help. Help us because we need closure.”
Michael Cohen, a co-worker of Briseno in the landscaping business, calls Miguel a hero.
“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. He is a hero. I mean he stepped in and did something that most people would have just walked by and not got involved.”
Investigators say they typically advise the public not to intervene in a crime and instead be good witnesses.
However, Officer Holmes explains how difficult it is to just stand by and watch when someone is in harm’s way.
“Gosh darn it, it’s 12:30 at night, you’ve got a young lady with a group of people being accosted and you have a man who’s standing there and how to do you ask him how do you tell him at that point not to get involved and be a good witness and standby and let it happen. Again, it’s tragic a man lost his life trying to take care of a young lady.”
Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to call 480-948-6377. Callers may remain anonymous.
[Featured image via Facebook]