“We received a call at about 6:30 p.m. to 1801 Sugar Farm Road about a subject being stabbed,” St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Chief Investigator Joe Sweatt said.
Sweatt identified the victim as Felipe Martinez Hernandez. Hernandez, who was stabbed once in the chest, was transported by LifeSaver helicopter to UAB.
Authorities stopped a white 1994 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck a short time later near the Pleasant Valley Quick Stop at the intersection of Center Star and Old Coal City roads.
“The two Hispanic males in the truck were at the scene when the stabbing occurred and were taken into custody Wednesday night,” Sweatt said.
Sweatt said one of the two men detained Wednesday night was arrested Thursday and charged with assault first degree.
Authorities identified the suspect as Elicio Rivera Gomez.
“We verified that both the Hispanic males detained in connection with the stabbing are here illegally and have no proof of citizenship,” Sweatt said. “We have checked with the district attorney and there is no law we can charge them with under the new immigration act (for being here illegally).”
Sweatt said authorities believe an argument ensued after one of the Hispanic males was showing pictures on a phone to the girlfriend of one of the other Hispanic males which led to the stabbing.
He said authorities were in contact with the Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding the suspects.
“We spent several hours getting interpreters and trying to verify citizenship,” he said. “These are some of the problems we run into dealing with illegal aliens.”
Kevin Storr, with UAB Media Relations, said late Thursday that Hernandez remained in critical condition.
The incident remains under investigation by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department.
Contact Elsie Hodnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.