LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — The family of 23-year-old Robert Wheeler tells News 4 he died after being attacked by someone known to the family early Tuesday morning.
Wheeler was at his mother’s home on Johnson Street when he was stabbed about 25 times around 1:45 a.m. Family members tell us he died trying to protect his nephew.
Wheeler’s sister, Amanda Wheeler, tells News 4 he was able to fight off his attacker and get downstairs wake up his mother. She says he later died in the home.
“Robert was loved by everyone and was a great uncle, brother, son, grandson, nephew and friend,” says Amanda Wheeler. “I miss him already.”
Wheeler’s aunt also released a brief statement Tuesday night, saying “he was the sweetest, kindest most thoughtful person who would help anyone without a second thought. ”
Lackawanna Police say the suspect, Christian Gillie, is in custody. They tell News 4 the suspect was taken to the hospital after Tuesday’s attack. We’re told he may have cut himself.
Gillie has been charged with second-degree murder, a Class A felony. He is due in Lackawanna City Court for a felony hearing on Friday at 11 a.m.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with funeral expenses and more than $7,000 has already been raised.
People have left comments saying “It was a pleasure to know you” and “You left this world a hero, I am proud to have known you.”
News 4 will update as more information is available.