‘You do what it takes’: Pregnant mother thanks parents after family was stabbed inside their Portland home

PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Portland Family shared their story of survival, after a neighbor broke in and stabbed three people, multiple times.

The Robertson County Sheriff’s Office arrested 23-year old Austin Craig Swanson, after a 52-year old female, a 23-year-old pregnant female and a 53-year-old male were stabbed inside their home on Brewer Road.

When deputies arrived, all three victims were taken to the hospital. Now, the recovery process begins, not only physically, but mentally.

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The 23-year-old pregnant female was Tamalee Clark. She was home with her entire family when a living nightmare happened.

“We went outside and screamed at the top of our lungs, just trying to get someone to help us,” said Clark. “That’s my safe place, and he took it away from me. It’s been hard for me to even close my eyes. I’m scared I’m going to see it again, and I don’t want to see it again.”

On Monday, October 25, Deputies responded to a stabbing and home invasion. Clark told News 2, Swanson broke in and started stabbing Clark’s father, and then her mother.

Quickly jumping into action, the entire family fought Swanson off, trying to make sure the other children in the home were safe. Clark’s brother was able to hold Swanson down long enough for law enforcement to arrive.

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“He has already stabbed my dad multiple times whenever my mom got there. I know at all costs, you do what it takes and every single member of our family did what it took to protect the kids, ” explained Clark.

At 35 weeks pregnant, Clark’s scars testify to that frightening moment, but looking at her parents, she is reminded of their incredible strength to survive.

“Growing up, you say your parents are your heroes, but they are more than definitely my heroes. They not only protected me, but they protected my kid, and my nieces, and my unborn baby. So, my parents are made of steel, and they are stubborn, and they’re going to do what it takes to take care of their family,” said Clark.

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Inside TriStar Medical Center, Clark says her parents are in good spirits. On Wednesday, her mother went in for another surgery, after Clark said, “my mom has a lot of small cuts, but she did take a Joker cut to the face and he broke her eye socket. Her wrist was dangling, so they have to re-attach everything.”

Still, there are unanswered questions surrounding why this stabbing happened. According to Clark, Swanson lives next door and heard claims that he may be schizophrenic. She says earlier that day, she saw him standing in the middle of the street and didn’t think anything was wrong.

“I think if we would have known more, we could have protected ourselves and our kids a lot more,” said Clark.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with continued medical expenses.

Swanson was taken to the Robertson County Detention Center, where he was given a $500,000 bond. His court date is set for November.

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