PORTLAND, TN (WSMV) – One Robertson County family said for them, Monday night was truly every family’s worst nightmare. A stranger came into their home armed with a knife and stabbed the mom, dad, and pregnant daughter. They realized it was their new neighbor.
The son, Justin Stradtner said he heard the noise, walked into the living room and saw his mom and dad on the floor, bloody. Justin said through tears, they told him they loved him and thought they weren’t going to make it. “One minute, I am reading my little girl a story,” Justin said. “The next thing I know, someone is busting in the front door trying to stab and kill us.”
A home invasion left three people, including a pregnant woman, recovering in the hospital after being stabbed, according to the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office.
Justin Stradtner is staying strong for his family after a triple stabbing at his parents’ home in Robertson County near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. “We have lived on the same road for 20 years,” Justin said. “We have never had anything like this happen.”
Monday night, Justin said a man that police have now identified at 23-year-old Austin Swanson pulled into the front yard right up to the steps and parked in the middle of the yard. “My dad meets him at the front door,” Justin said. “He busts the door in with the knife. My dad tried to push him out with the door. He stabbed my dad in the neck and punctured his lung.”
After Justin’s dad, 53-year-old Jerry Stradtner was stabbed, Justin’s mother, 52-year-old Tammy Stradtner ran in. “He cut my mom from her lip all the way over,” Justin said.
At eight months pregnant, Justin’s sister, 23-year-old Tamalee Stradtner was also stabbed in the chest. Justin said he fought Swanson off and held him on the ground until law enforcement arrived. “I didn’t know if he had another knife or a gun so I kept his hands where he couldn’t reach for anything,” Justin said.
The Robertson County Sheriff’s Office said they haven’t determined a motive. Justin said Swanson moved in this summer a couple houses down, but Justin said his family never had contact with Swanson. Justin said Swanson was incoherent last night. “He was saying he was the police and all kinds of stuff that didn’t make sense,” Justin said.
Justin’s niece and two young daughters were also there. “They ask me, ‘Daddy, why did the bad man come into our house?’ And I just don’t have an answer for that,” Justin said.
Justin said his parents are both still hospitalized tonight but in stable condition. His sister was released from the hospital Monday with no threat to her pregnancy. Justin wanted to thank first responders for getting there so quickly. The family has also set up a GoFundMe for all the medical bills.
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