Moments after having his neck slashed, allegedly at the hands of his own father, 12-year-old Nick Bugarin did something authorities say likely saved the lives of his younger sisters.
He fought back.
Court documents filed Wednesday say the Dodge Center boy took the knife from his father and stabbed the man twice in the back. That gave his younger sisters the chance to escape. Nick Bugarin died soon after at a neighbor's home.
"There is no doubt in my mind. All evidence suggests he saved his sisters' lives," said Dodge County Assistant Attorney Gary ReMine. "The boy was a hero."
Details about the boy's heroic final moments emerged Wednesday after his father, Ismael Bugarin, 33, was charged in Dodge District Court with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder. He is accused of killing his wife, Teresa Bugarin, 27, and his son, Nick, and attacking his 6- and 8-year-old daughters.
News of Nick Bugarin's last act as an older brother was no surprise to the boy's aunt, Elizabeth Olmos. She said Nick's sisters told her "Nick saved us, auntie. He saved us."
"I was like, that's Nick. I knew he would do something like that," she said. "He would stand up for what he loved."
According to the criminal complaint, the fight broke out at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in the family's mobile home in Valley View Trailer Park in Dodge Center. Teresa Bugarin told her husband she was moving out with the children and wanted a divorce. The two began fighting in a back room of the home. The couple's three children rushed to the room when their mother began screaming for help.
The husband stabbed his wife repeatedly and then shot her, authorities say. The bullet grazed her left wrist and went through her neck, severing her spinal cord. The three children fled the room and tried to leave the home, but were unable to escape, the complaint says. The father chased the children and began attacking them with the knife, repeatedly saying "I'm sorry," according to the court document.
He slashed one of the girls on her neck and then cut his son's neck. He came up behind the third child and stabbed her under the chin. That's when Nick fought back, wrestling the knife away and stabbing his father twice, giving Nick and his sisters time to run next door to a neighbor's home for help.
The father then slit his own wrists. When authorities arrived, at the neighbors' home, they found the boy lying in a pool of blood with a bloody knife on the floor next to him. When asked what happened, one of the girls said, "Dad shot our mom. Dad shot our mom."
The murder and attempted-murder charges allege Ismael's actions were without premeditation.
After finding Nick and his sisters, deputies searched the family's home and found the husband and wife lying on the floor. A gun was found at the scene. He was alive; she was dead.
Ismael Bugarin is listed in serious condition at Saint Marys Hospital and is being guarded by Dodge County deputies. Authorities have not yet been able to question him about what happened, said Dodge County Sheriff Gary Thompson.
Both of the daughters, 6-year-old Sabrina Bugarin and 8-year-old Jasmine Bugarin, were treated at Saint Marys Hospital and released earlier this week. They are staying with their aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Flavio Olmos.
The Bugarin family had lived in Dodge Center for several years. Ismael Bugarin worked as an assembler for McNeilus Cos. Teresa did Spanish translating as a family support worker for Dodge County. She also did hair styling out of her home.
Mother and son
Ask friends and family what they will remember about the mother and son, and similarities quickly emerge. Both were known for their big smiles, friendly nature and willingness to help others.
Nick, a seventh-grader at Triton Middle School, loved to skateboard and ride BMX bikes.
"He loved everybody. He had such a big heart," Elizabeth Olmos said. "My kids looked up to Nick as a role model."
He was also a hard worker, helping his uncle with his construction business. Tears streamed down Flavio Olmos' face Wednesday as he remembered his last conversation with his nephew. Nick had told him he wanted to carry on his uncle's construction business, turning it into a big company one day.
Teresa Bugarin was a hard worker, known for reaching out to others. The Rev. Kurt Farrell of St. John the Baptist DeLaSalle church said the mother of three was always thinking of others. Most recently, she had been helping plan a wedding for a friend who was dying of cancer. Teresa was supposed to help style her friend's hair for the wedding last Sunday.
"She was always giving of herself. Always there to help the other people," Farrell said.
Family and friends are still in shock about what happened, saying they saw no signs of trouble within the family. While Ismael Bugarin had no prior charges in Dodge County, he was convicted of domestic assault in Lyon County in 1997, according to state court records.
"They were a very close family," Farrell said. "It's just mind-boggling to see this could happen."
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My Two Cents- Stories like this are becoming more the norm than the exception.
The reason for this is without a doubt in my mind ... these parents fear losing thier children due to the insanity going on in family courts -- without Due Process-- you can and will be labeled a danger to your children and taken out of their lives without proof-- justification-- or reason.
Perhaps your spouse is politically connected... has more money.. or is simply the judges favored sex for a better ruling.. your screwed either way!
So apparently these sick people are killing thier children and their spouses.. and not a damn thing is being done to change the way the animals within the family court system operate.
Have things gotten out of hand? YES
Do we need to do something and fast to stop these kinds of stories from happening in the first place? YES
What are YOU doing.. to stop one more family from destruction?
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