A rising high school senior was reportedly the target of a vicious knife attack June 3 in Florida. Madison Schemitz, mother Jackie Roge, and friend Casey Estep were eating at Mr. Chubby’s Wings in Ponte Vedra Beach when they spotted Schemitz’s former boyfriend, Spencer Pearson. The pair had recently broken up, but no one expected things to turn violent.
The three women reportedly wanted to avoid a confrontation with Pearson, who they spotted sitting at a nearby table, so they quickly left the restaurant. The 18-year-old recent high school graduate allegedly followed the women outside, wielding a knife. His primary target was reportedly Schemitz, but he inflicted stab wounds on the two others and tried to injure himself as well in what now appears to be an attempted murder-suicide. The victims are fighting serious injuries and hoping to survive.
Pearson and Schemitz had a rocky relationship.
Tatiana Cruceta, Schemitz’s oldest sibling, told First Coast News her sister dated Pearson for a while but they broke up a few months back. During that time, Pearson allegedly harassed his ex-girlfriend and said he would hurt her.
“There were some issues in the past after they’d broken up, where he was threatening her safety. My mother was looking to get a restraining order against him, so this was definitely premeditated,” Cruceta told the news outlet.
Estep, who was with Schemitz at the restaurant Saturday, told First Coast News that they knew it was time to go as soon as they saw Pearson. The group quietly asked for their check and headed to the front of the restaurant, but Estep alleged that is when Pearson thrust the knife toward Schemitz and her mom.
Schemitz received multiple serious stab wounds.
Pearson allegedly stabbed Schemitz at least 15 times, according to an arrest report obtained by News 4.
Cruceta told First Coast News her sister suffered serious injuries, including a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed. She has had multiple surgeries and is under treatment at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital.
“She had some spinal fluid leaking from her spinal cord, so currently, she is not able to move or feel her legs. But we’re hoping for a very speedy recovery. I know she starts physical therapy soon, today actually,” she shared.
Roge was also injured in the attack trying to save her daughter. According to the arrest record, she was stabbed in the leg and forehead. She gave a brief update on her condition and that of her daughter.
“I am about to go into surgery, my muscles were severed from the bone on my hand. Madison has 2 chest tubes and a spinal cord injury but she’s a fighter, just please continue praying for her,” she wrote on a GoFundMe page.
A witness likely saved their lives.
Kennedy Armstrong was in the parking lot of Mr. Chubby’s Wings when he heard screaming and reportedly saw the attack. He never hesitated but jumped in, trying to save the women. He told First Coast News it happened so quickly he didn’t even realize he was injured.
“You see two girls in trouble getting attacked by a guy, I would hope most people would do the same,” Armstrong said. “Kudos to the mom. I think she’s the real reason that girl is still alive.”
He received injuries to a ligament and artery in his hand and was scheduled for surgery Monday.
In addition to trying to hurt Schemitz, Pearson allegedly wanted to hurt himself.
In what is described as an attempted suicide, Pearson reportedly tried to stab himself in the throat several times. When police arrived, all four of the injured people, including Pearson, were taken to hospitals for treatment. According to a St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office release, Pearson’s charges are hefty.
“Should the suspect survive his self-inflicted injuries, he will be charged with multiple felony charges, including attempted murder,” the sheriff’s office’s release reads.
Friends and family are rallying around Schemitz.
Schemitz will be a senior at Ponte Vedra High School this fall, where she is a softball star. A close friend of hers, Alyssa James, told News 4 she was shocked to hear about what happened to her friend, and she wants to do what she can to help.
“I am starting a fundraiser of keychains as a massive strong to help fund for her expenses. And they’re about $15. Each $10 will go right to the family, the $5 go back to my neighbor who actually created them,” James told the news outlet. “Everyone’s willing to do whatever they can for her. We all love her and want to support her as much as we can.”
She explained that her friend is always kind and has something nice to say about everyone.
Loved ones shared prayers and donations on the family’s GoFundMe page. It has raised $80,000 of a $100,000 goal thus far.
“Madison & Family — I have been temporarily paralyzed before and have beat it. Was not an easy journey,” one donor wrote. “God bless Madison and family. From the Chase, Kaci, & Cooper Malone Family.”
“Lifting you and your family up in prayers Madison. We have adored you from the second you entered our lives with babysitting our little girl and will be right here supporting you through this,” another donor prayed.
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