A concealed carry permit holder went outside to investigate after he was awakened by his barking dogs. Sadly, he never made it back inside. Instead, a fatal mistake left his family in shock. Let this be a lesson to us all.
William McKinley, a 55-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico resident, was awoken suddenly at about 5 am on a Saturday morning when his dogs began barking relentlessly. The concealed carry permit holder went outside to investigate, not realizing that his own driveway was about to become the scene of a gruesome murder.
Sadly, William McKinley never made it back inside his Four Hills home after going out to see what was upsetting his dogs. Instead, a neighbor heard a banging sound early that morning and looked out his window to see McKinley staggering up his driveway, dripping with blood, and crying for help. When police arrived, McKinley’s father-in-law was sitting on his chest, trying to slow the bleeding.
Although paramedics rushed McKinley to the hospital, it was too late. He succumbed to his injuries, but before dying, he was able to tell his wife and authorities what had taken place, the Albuquerque Journal reported. According to McKinley, he was stabbed multiple times when he confronted two men who were breaking into his truck.
After stabbing him in his own driveway, the suspects fled in a dark-colored Jeep, he said. Police quickly determined that this was an auto burglary that escalated to homicide as officers discovered a window had been broken out of McKinley’s truck and four other cars had been broken into overnight in the Four Hills neighborhood, an upscale area in Southeast Albuquerque.
“It doesn’t seem like he knew there was any danger,” Valerie said. “I don’t get it. I know if he saw someone out there, he wouldn’t have come out unarmed. Everyone was just in shock this morning. I guess we’re just relying on the comfort that he knew he was going to be with Jesus in heaven.”
According to Valerie, her father was a religious man, who ran a Bible study group out of his home. “He thought every day was worth celebrating,” she said. “Every day was a holiday, each day was something to give. He loved every part of his life. And, he always knew if he died he would go to heaven.”
With William McKinley’s deathbed description of the suspects and another tip, police eventually identified the men accused of breaking into McKinley’s truck and stabbing him to death during the confrontation that followed. They soon questioned 26-year-old Craig Whited and 25-year-old Tyler Hernandez, and investigators began to put together a strong case against McKinley’s murderer.
Whited said it was Hernandez who stabbed McKinley, and police discovered that Hernandez had a bruise under his eye and scratches on his arms, while Whited didn’t have any injuries. McKinley’s tools were also found in Hernandez’s room.
Whited pleaded guilty to auto burglary, larceny, and possession of burglary tool. He was sentenced to five years in prison and five years of probation. Hernandez, however, didn’t fare so well. Following a four-day jury trial a year and a half after McKinley’s death, Tyler Hernandez was found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary, conspiracy, tampering with evidence, and larceny, according to the Albuquerque Journal.
Although Hernandez’s defense attorney Daniel Salazar tried to lay blame on McKinley for his own death, suggesting he shared the responsibility because he “attacked” the burglars, Tyler Hernandez was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison, KRQE reported.
William McKinley’s family now has closure, knowing the man responsible for his murder is behind bars, but sharing his story offers them something more. His memory can be honored by using his death to warn others and possibly even save another life.
As his daughter said, William McKinley obviously didn’t sense any danger until it was too late or he would have armed himself before he headed outside. Sadly, a concealed carry permit holder was viciously murdered because he didn’t have his gun on him. If we can learn anything from this story, it’s that our gun rights are not negotiable and we should be ready to defend ourselves at all times.