Some innocent joking around turned fatal, according to the mother of Omaha's latest homicide victim.
Valarie Hernandez said her son Anthony Baker, 20, was with his brother in front of their home near 22nd and N Streets about 11 p.m. Monday. A man walking down the street apparently didn't like that the brothers were “teasing” him.
Hernandez said Wednesday her older son, Aaron Baker, 23, told her that the man came after the brothers with a “thin, homemade weapon,” fatally stabbing Anthony in the side and leaving Aaron with a 4-inch scar on his left forearm.
“They said they were just teasing, kidding around, and he came after them,” Hernandez said. “Anthony jumped to his brother's defense and was stabbed in the side.”
Anthony was pronounced dead at Creighton University Medical Center.
Omaha police arrested Jade M. Owens, 51, Tuesday night.
Owens was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony in the death of Baker.
He also was booked on suspicion of felony assault in a separate stabbing incident that occurred a few blocks away.
Hernandez said police told her they expect charges will be filed against Owens in the attack on her older son.
Anthony Baker attended nearby South High School but didn't graduate, his mother said.
She described him as good at working with computers, stereos and cars. He was still trying to decide what he wanted to do with his life.
“He was a good kid,” his mother said. “The kind of kid who would walk to the store for grandma.”
Hernandez said Owens is not known to her or anyone in the family.
“I'd like to know why he did what he did to my son, but I have to forgive him,” she said. “He's got family out there and now they're losing someone, too. He's going to have a long time to sit (in a cell) and think about it.”
Besides his mother and brother, Anthony Baker is survived by his sister Alisha Esteban of Omaha and father Anthony Baker of Greenwood, Neb. A fund to help the victim's family with funeral and medical bills was established at www.gofundme.com.
Police ask anyone with information on the stabbings to call 402-444-5652, or Crime Stoppers at 444-STOP (7867), contact www.omahacrimestoppers.net, or text “OPD” to 274637 (Crimes).
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