The family of a senior who was repeatedly stabbed and then robbed say their lives will be forever altered by the "cowardly" attack.
With the victim now in stable condition in a Winnipeg hospital and his life out of danger, his family has shared how the "act of brutality" committed by a stranger has already changed them.
"Our family is shaken and all of our lives will never be the same," the family shared in a written statement issued this week.
The family reached out to The Brandon Sun with a written statement, and the newspaper has agreed not to name the victim at this time as his family has asked for privacy as they try to cope with the ordeal.
On April 15, just after midnight, police responded to a call of a man covered in blood near the corner of 34th Street and Victoria Avenue.
Police say that a 70-year-old man had been at the recycling bins when he was attacked by a man who demanded cash and his pickup truck.
The robber stabbed the elderly victim numerous times in the head and face with a weapon believed to have been a screwdriver.
The robber then fled with the victim’s truck and wallet. The wallet contained $160 cash and credit cards.
The victim sustained serious wounds and was taken to the Brandon hospital and then flown to the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg where he remains.
His wife has been at his side the entire time, says his family.
The family didn’t go into specifics of his injuries as it’s too difficult for them to share right now.
They said the extent of his injuries is unknown, but they are serious and could affect his ability to live independently.
Medical staff have told his family to "wait and see" as a head trauma as serious as the one he has sustained comes with many unknowns. But they say the injuries will certainly be life-changing.
"As our father was an active member of his community who loved to visit his children and grandchildren, this act of brutality has taken much more than his truck and wallet," his children shared in the family statement.
"We are very proud of our father; his bravery and his indomitable will to live."
In their statement, the family provided further details of the events surrounding the stabbing.
They say the victim was recycling boxes, which he used to protect perennials in his garden, when he was attacked. He was out late because he remains a night owl in his retirement, after years of shift work.
The family says it’s their understanding that the attacker came at the victim without warning and struck him in the head with a weapon, causing him to fall to the ground.
They say that, after stabbing and beating the victim repeatedly, the robber went through his pockets and it was then he stole his wallet and truck, leaving him for dead.
Police arrested a suspect who also stands charged in connection with two other robberies and a home invasion between April 12-15.
In one of those robberies, also committed on April 15, the arrested suspect and two others allegedly cornered an 81-year-old man in his garage.
After a struggle, one of the suspects took the victim’s cash and the keys to his vehicle.
That senior wasn’t seriously injured in that incident.
However, in an odd turn to an already disturbing case, that second victim lives on the same street as the 70-year-old man who was found near 34th Street and Victoria Avenue about 19 hours earlier.
It’s possible that the suspect went to that street after finding the stabbing victim’s address on identification in his wallet, but it isn’t known why.
Julius Joseph McKay, 19, faces numerous charges in connection with the robberies, including a count of aggravated assault in relation to the beating.
He first appeared in court on Tuesday and remains in custody.
Meanwhile, the victim’s family say they’re grateful for the support shown by family, friends and members of the community.
They say they’re also grateful to the Good Samaritan who found the victim and called 911, to 911 dispatchers, Brandon police, Brandon firefighters and paramedics, Brandon hospital staff and Winnipeg medical personnel.