YUCAIPA (CBSLA.com) — An Inland Empire man Sunday chased down a purse thief who stabbed a mother in a parking lot, only to be stabbed himself.
Troy Cansler, of Yucaipa, died from his injuries.
The Good Samaritan’s wife is still trying to make sense of it.
“He didn’t think about what might happen. He always thought he was invincible,” Cansler’s wife, Autum, said. “I always thought he was pretty invincible, too…but he wasn’t. But that was pretty heroic what he did.”
The attack happened Sunday night in a parking lot on the 33000 block of Yucaipa Boulevard.
Police say the female victim was with her 2-year-old child. She put her purse on the roof of her car when the thief snatched it. She confronted him and he stabbed her with a knife.
Cansler saw what was happening and chased down the suspect, who fatally stabbed Cansler.
“He died a hero, knowing that he did something good, and that he saved two people, not only one, by taking his own life. And that’s the ultimate thing you can do,” Cansler’s daughter Jordyn Glazier said.
The mother Cansler helped save is home from the hospital and recovering.
Police were able to track down the suspect, who was hiding at a nearby bar after the attacks.
“I just want to know why. Why would they want to rob a woman with a baby? What did they think they were going to get from her?” Autum Cansler said.
Glazier says she’s trying to stay strong: “I just ask for everyone that knows me and that sees me on here that they just give me hope when I go back to school.”