MANATEE — A 37-year-old man was fatally stabbed while he was holding his child in his arms Thursday night, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
William Howery was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg via ambulance where he later died from his injuries. An autopsy is scheduled for today.
Deputies arrested a suspect, Carlos Viera, 31, two and half hours later on murder charges.
The man was driving a grey Chrysler 300 when he drove into a shopping center and parked in front of Royale Relaxation, 1248 Whitfield Ave., just before 6 p.m.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Bradenton Herald
The man held his son, who appeared to be a year in age, and was speaking to a woman outside the business when words were exchanged with another man who approached him.
The argument escalated into a fight when Viera allegedly took out a knife and lunged at Howery standing next to his parked car. Howery was stabbed in the chest, possibly puncturing one of his lungs.
Howery then stumbled over to the rear of the parking lot where he collapsed, dropping the baby, according to witnesses at the scene.
Authorities are still investigating the argument that motivated the slaying.
The child was unharmed and checked out by paramedics at the scene. Deputies took turns holding the child as victim advocates met with the child’s mother.
This is the third homicide this month Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has investigated.