Dade City Police are investigating a fatal stabbing on Coleman Avenue, just east of 21st Street. Investigators say a young health insurance coordinator was stabbed to death while delivering medical paperwork to a client on Monday afternoon.
"It may have only been 30 seconds or a minute, but it seemed like a lifetime," witness Victoria Farkus said Monday night.
Farkus says it all started with a chilling sound. She looked out the window, and saw a young woman being chased into their yard by her neighbor.
"She was just screaming, 'Help me, help me, help me!' I mean, she was really scared," Farkus said.
Dade City Police say 53-year old Lucious Smith stabbed 25-year old Stephanie Ross as she tried to deliver medical paperwork to Smith's apartment. Neighbors say Smith chased the woman around the street and stabbed her repeatedly in the shoulders and head.
Ross of Lakeland later died from her wounds.
"When she fell face down on grass over there, I told her 'No! Get up!' I thought he'd come back for her again," Farkus said.
Farkus says she tried to help, but feared for her own life.
"When he looked at me, he had dead eyes. So, I too, backed off," she said.
Neighbors say Smith lived in an apartment complex specifically for patients of The Harbor, a Dade City-based mental health facility.
Jessica Coleman says she was always uneasy of her neighbor.
"I've never seen anyone stay outside and sitting, whether it's cold or hot, like he did. All day. It made me uncomfortable to go outside and check the mail and everything," Coleman said Monday.
The company Stephanie Ross worked for, Integra Health Management, caters to clients with mental or physical handicaps.
Witnesses say they're shattered that something like this could happen outside of their homes.
"Everyone wanted him gone. He was getting up there to where something was going to happen. And apparently, today, it did," Coleman said.
Dade City Police had made several visits to Smith's apartment over the last few months. He had been arrested for trespassing, and police had to Baker Act him in the past.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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