Eight-year-old injured in Warren County stabbing dies

WARREN COUNTY, Mo. - An eight-year-old boy wounded last Friday in a stabbing incident in a Warren County home has died.

Warren County Sheriff Kevin Harrison said deputies were dispatched to the 26000 block of Humber Road off Highway Y (south of Jonesburg, Mo.) Friday night after a report of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found 23-year-old Shawn Kavanagh covered in blood.

Kavanagh admitted that he had killed two women inside.

Deputies found a 22-year-old Montgomery City Tara Lynn Fifer and 29-year-old Lexy Vandiver of Jonesburg. Both had been stabbed and cut several times.

Authorities also discovered a 27-year-old woman with four life-threatening injuries and the 8-year-old boy, who suffered multiple puncture wounds, lacerations, broken bones and a collapsed lung. They were airlifted to nearby hospitals.

The 8-year-old was identified as Mason Vandiver. He died Tuesday morning around 1 a.m. at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in St. Louis.

He's remembered for that infectious ear to ear grin.

"I will remember his smiling face, that's what I will remember," says Warrior Ridge Elementary Principal Dr. Bobbie Russell. "His energy he had a lot of energy and he was, he was happy."

Mason was in the first grade at Warrior Ridge Elementary in Warrenton. He was learning to read, add and subtract.

Last Friday, he was at home with his mother and two of her co-workers when police say 23 year old Shawn Kavanagh came looking for his estranged wife and stabbed all four of them.

Mason's mother and another woman died. Kavanagh's wife is still in the hospital.

"We are like one big family and here at Warrior Ridge this is our school family so when something like this happens it really affects everyone," Dr. Russell said.

She says Mason's class is sad, but as first graders they don't understand what happened.

Grief counselors were on hand Tuesday and will be there when needed.

"We did our best that all of the children that they feel safe and loved," she said.

Tuesday Mason's classmates made a memory box for the family and wrote cards about their friend.

"He like to be with his friends, he liked to come to school, and he was just a great kid," she said.

An 18-month-old female was also found unharmed inside the home.

Kavanagh and the 27-year-old woman were married, but separated. He went to the home looking for his wife, but was told to leave. He then went to his car and came back to the residence with a knife.

The three women knew one another from the nursing home where they worked. Two of the women were attempting to shelter and protect Kavanagh's estranged wife, identified as Jessica Kavanagh.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Jessica Kavanagh remains on a ventilator. Her family has established a GoFundMe site to pay for her medical bills and therapy.

Fifer's family is hosting a benefit next weekend to pay for her funeral expenses. It will be held at the Applebee's in Warren County on February 22 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The pancake breakfast is $5 per person. A memorial is scheduled for 2 to 7 p.m. on February 20 at the Martin Funeral Home.

Meanwhile, Shawn Kavanagh remains in custody at Warren County Jail on three counts of first-degree murder, four counts of armed criminal action, one count of first-degree domestic assault, and one count of first-degree burglary.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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