WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Nick Martinez had a knife in his back, but all he could think about was the woman who has his heart.
The 74-year-old man from Wyoming was one of two people randomly stabbed at a Meijer store in Wyoming on Monday.
Nick Martinez said he was at the store with his wife Becky Martinez when they saw a man begin to violently attack a teenager in the electronics department.
“I couldn’t wrap my head around what I was seeing,” Becky Martinez said. “I saw blood … and the knife and I let out a yell, and then (the attacker) immediately saw us and started (going) for us.”
Nick Martinez got involved, trying to wrestle the man to the ground.
“That’s when he stabbed me in the back,” he said. “I fell with the knife going in and I knew I was stabbed.
The alleged attacker, 57-year-old James Ivy, ran out of the store and two nearby shoppers rushed to Nick Martinez’s aid.
“The blood (was) gushing out of my back, and I could feel it every time I took a deep breath,” Nick Martinez, a Vietnam veteran and retired General Motors employee, said.
He said in that moment, there was only one thing on his mind.
“I wanted to find my wife, I didn’t know where she was,” he said about his wife of 52 years. “I thought maybe she got hurt or something and I kept yelling for her.”
His wife and a group of other nearby shoppers were taken to a secure room, waiting for police to arrive on scene.
The couple was reunited in the store and Nick Martinez was taken to the hospital. The knife punctured his lung and broke two ribs, he said.
Police say the teenager was also stabbed and taken to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. He was released later that night.
Nick Martinez’s wife said if it weren’t for her husband, the teen may have been seriously injured or killed.
“I truly believe that if we hadn’t come by … he would’ve finished that kid off,” she said. “The kid put up a good fight, but that knife was bigger than all of us.”
When asked her reaction to her husband stepping in to protect others, she said that’s just who he is.
“He’s always been everybody’s hero,” Becky Martinez said.
Nick Martinez is expected to make a full recovery but remains in the hospital with a chest tube to keep his lungs from filling with fluid.