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Workers hailed as 'heroes' describe helping save woman after Pioneer Park stabbing

Justin Fuertes, a construction worker, rushed to get a first-aid kit to help a woman who had been stabbed near Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jay Hancock, KSL TV)


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SALT LAKE CITY – Police are crediting a crew of construction workers with possibly saving a woman's life as they investigate a stabbing in Salt Lake City's Pioneer Park on Thursday morning.

"Not what I was expecting today for sure," said Justin Fuertes. He was working on a construction crew that morning when he found himself answering the call for help.

Fuertes pulled into work at a new build site across the street from Pioneer Park on Broadway in downtown. That's when Fuertes said he spotted a few of his co-workers gathered around a woman.

"At that time I didn't know how bad it was. It was bad," said Fuertes.

"Sure enough, she'd been stabbed multiple times. Clothes covered in blood and in a state of shock for sure," said Ryan Gorzitze, Fuertes' co-worker.

Fuertes rushed to get a first-aid kit from his truck.

"I gave one of the guys gloves, I put on gloves, and then he went back and applied pressure to the lady's arm to stop the bleeding," Fuertes said.

Fuertes says the woman also had a stab wound to her stomach.

"Right in her stomach … That guy, he had a big knife," Fuertes said.

That's when Fuertes says the victim pointed to a man. "She pointed out to the guy who was sitting underneath a tree and said 'that's the guy who stabbed me.'"

The crew watched as officers approached the man. Fuertes says they told police he might have a knife. He says they heard police tell the man to drop his weapon repeatedly, but he didn't obey their commands.

"He ran towards the cops with the knife. Then that's when everything … shots were fired," Fuertes said.

From Thursday:

The man died at the scene, but the woman was rushed to the hospital. Police Chief Mike Brown credited the workers with saving the woman's life during a press briefing on Thursday. However, Fuertes said the credit goes to the woman fighting for her life.

"I just did everything I could to help," Fuertes said, "I really hope she makes it. Prayers for her for sure so she can recover. I'm no hero." Fuertes said.

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Garna Mejia

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