Family of FSU Student Who Allegedly Tried to Eat Man's Face Expresses Condolences: 'There Are No Words'
"The Harrouff family loves Austin as they know the Stevens and Mishcon families loved John Stevens III and Michelle Mishcon," the statement reads
The parents of the 19-year-old Florida State University student accused of fatally stabbing a couple and trying to eat one victim’s face has issued a statement, expressing condolences to the victims and claiming Austin Harrouff “is not the person some are making him to be for their own purposes.”
The statement, obtained by PEOPLE, expresses Wade and Mina Harrouff’s “deepest sympathy for the pain and suffering caused by Austin Harrouff,” who remains in stable but critical condition at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, police say.
Investigators say they are still trying to determine what drove Harrouff to allegedly kill John Stevens III, 59, and his wife Michelle Mishcon, 53, last week.
Authorities initially believed Harrouff may have been under the influence of the synthetic drug flakka when he allegedly attacked the couple and spent minutes trying to eat Stevens’ face. Authorities are awaiting the results of toxicology tests, which are being conducted by the FBI and could take up to three weeks to complete, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office tells PEOPLE.
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A neighbor, 47-year-old Jeff Fisher, came to the couple’s aid and tried fending off their attacker. He was injured in the process, and was treated at a nearby hospital before being released.
“The Harrouff family loves Austin as they know the Stevens and Mishcon families loved John Stevens III and Michelle Mishcon,” the statement reads.
“There are no words we can offer to give any real comfort for this tragic loss,” it continues. “There are no words we can offer that we can make up for the injury sustained by Jeff Fisher who is doing what we would want all good neighbors to do which was to try to help innocent people from being hurt or killed.”
The statement says Harrouff “is not the person some are making him to be for their own purposes.” The family has asked for privacy and says they “will allow the full legal process to find the full facts and the truth here.”
Once he’s been cleared medically, Harrouff will be charged with two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one burglary count, and a single resisting arrest count, police say. A judge has signed off on an arrest warrant for Harrouff, which he’ll be served with once he’s released from the hospital.
On Friday, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office released video showing Harrouff walking out of the Duffy’s Restaurant in Jupiter, Florida, the night of the attack.
It is unclear whether Harrouff has retained legal counsel. A motive for the alleged attacks has not been revealed by police.
In YouTube videos uploaded four days before the attack, Harrouff is seen discussing steroid use. In other clips, Harrouff appears to lift weights and makes references to himself as “The God of Fitness.” Harrouff wrote on YouTube page believed to be his, “I’ve got a psycho side and a normal side,” and “I’ve lost my mind help me find it.”