Fresno PD investigate whether fatal stabbing was self defense

Monday, January 22, 2018 09:39PM
The death and aftermath has left Mitchel Shaffer's widow distraught. She called 911 Sunday to report her son was stabbing her husband.


FRESNO, Calif. - The death and aftermath have left Mitchel Shaffer's widow distraught. She called 911 Sunday, to report her son was stabbing her husband.
Related: Fresno police investigate fatal stabbing

Detectives are waiting on autopsy tests to figure out if charges are warranted. Family members say the victim had a drinking problem that led to many of his issues with others.

Family members say Mitch Shaffer loved riding motorcycles and gardening but those closest to him say he had a serious drinking problem that sometimes got the best of him.

Sunday was no different.

Before the confrontation witnesses said he drank several beers and some hard liquor.

"He just had his issues. Everybody has their demons. Mitch had his," Barbara O'Donnell, Mitch's sister in law said.

Fresno police have not reached a conclusion about what exactly happened at space 45 in the Westlake Park mobile home development.

Mitch's wife, Patricia, was too tearful to talk Monday. She witnessed the violence and said her husband was the one who first lunged at her son, swinging and punching.

Mitch was stabbed in the chest at least once and died not long after.

However, those who knew him well said the 62-year-old also had some good qualities. For years, he was in construction and even built a custom home in the foothills with his stepson and another family member.

According to Patricia, the relationship between Mitch and his stepson seemed fine at times, but turbulent as well.

Court records show Mitch was arrested for driving under the influence in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2017.

Detectives returned to the mobile home park Monday to collect more evidence. So far, no arrests have been made.
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