Two children were hospitalized after a stabbing in Indian River County

A suspect is in jail

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - A stepfather is in custody after one of his stepchildren was stabbed Friday morning in Indian River County, according to the sheriff's office.

The 12-year-old boy was stabbed in the head at about 5 a.m. at a home located in the 2500 block of 14th Street SW in south Indian River County.

The child was airlifted to St. Mary's Medical Center. He is in stable condition and expected to be released tomorrow.

It was initially reported his 15-year-old sister was also stabbed. Deputies now say she suffered a  sprained wrist and was treated and released from Indian River County Medical Center.

The children's mother was also injured in the disturbance, Indian River County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Thom Raulen said in a written release. He said she was treated and released from the hospital.

A neighbor said she saw the boy run away from his home and to her front porch. "To see her son standing beside me bleeding, I didn't know what had happened, all I saw was blood. It's sad that someone has to go through something like that," she said.

Shortly after at 6 a.m. Friday Keith J. Underwood was taken into custody after he called police from a Fort Pierce drug store, the sheriff's office said. The sheriff's office said he initially told investigators that he acted in self defense. They said witnesses and physical evidence at the scene contradicted his statement. 

Underwood faces one count of domestic violence/aggravated battery and one count of child abuse.

Underwood is married to the woman who was stabbed, according to a relative. She said he is the children's stepfather.

Detectives said Underwood's wife called 911 twice last night to report problems with her husband. The Indian River County Sheriff's Office responded to the calls at 1:41 a.m. and 3:13 a.m. The sheriff's office says there was no physical violence in either case and no arrest was made.

Then, just after 5 a.m., deputies say Underwood reportedly attacked his wife while she was on a sofa with her 12-year-old son. The boy and his sister were injured when they tried to intervene, the sheriff's office says.

Underwood is expected to make his first court appearance Saturday morning.

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