MURRAY, Utah — A woman died Thursday after she was stabbed during a confrontation with a 16- year-old suspect.
Police say the woman, identified as 34-year-old Melissa Wood, was killed outside her apartment at 4439 S. Brick Oven Way.
“It doesn’t feel real yet,” said Kelsey Robertson, a good friend of Wood's. “Even though I went to the apartment and saw where it happened and everything, it still seems so unreal, like a joke. Like I am going to get a call like, 'Hey, I’m fine!'”
"She was one of a kind," Robertson added.
Other neighbors also had amazing things to say about Wood, such as how much love she had for all of her neighbors around her.
One couple she was like a “mother to the entire community” and would defend all of her neighbors.
What is disturbing, community members say, is that Wood was stabbed while confronting someone who was shouting racial slurs.
“I talked to the neighbors, talked to the roommate, and there was an altercation with someone downstairs, right outside of her apartment, and they were calling someone else racial slurs,"[Wood] didn’t hesitate to hop outside and say, 'Hey, that’s not OK' ... and I guess he stabbed her over it.”
Others in the neighborhood say they heard the N-word shouted in the courtyard of the apartment loudly before she was killed.
The suspect is in custody at a juvenile detention center, Murray Police announced Friday. The investigation is ongoing.
Wood’s death has been tough on everyone around her, several people told FOX 13.
"She was a very beautiful person. Like, she would always stand up for everybody,” Robertson said. “She loved to sing, she was friends with everybody, she didn’t hesitate to say hi or try to talk to you or meet new people. She was just that kind of person.”
Robertson added that Wood's actions in her final moments should be an example to others.
"She went out and stood up and did something that we all should do in a time like that,” Robertson said. “I hope this doesn’t deter anyone from doing the right thing in a time of need.”
Police have not yet released information on what led to the stabbing or if Wood knew the 16-year-old male suspect.
A GoFundMe for Wood's family has been set up.