Stevens and his wife were fatally stabbed by a suspect believed to have been on drugs
The family of John Joseph Stevens III, the man who was allegedly fatally stabbed by a Florida State University student Monday night, is having a hard time coming to terms with the loss of their loved one.
John Stevens IV, the victim’s son, tells PEOPLE he and his family had big plans of introducing their 3-month old daughter to her grandfather in two weeks.
“He was just so excited,” Stevens says, adding there was going to be a baptism. “When I told him he was going to have a granddaughter he was just super excited.”
However, Stevens’s daughter will never meet her grandfather and the former Marine’s family is now planning his funeral. On Monday, a FSU student allegedly fatally stabbed the 59-year-old and his wife, Michelle Mishcon, 53, in a gruesome attack, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder tells PEOPLE.
Police arrived at the scene to find Austin Harrouff allegedly trying to bite chunks off of Stevens’ face in the garage of the couple’s Tequesta home, Snyder said.
“The suspect was on top of our victim, clutching him in a bear hug and biting him in the face,” Snyder said, calling the incident a “random” and “unprovoked” attack. “It was an impossible task to get him off of the victim.”
Police believe Harrouff may have been under the influence of the synthetic drug flakka.
REALTED VIDEO: Friend of FSU Frat Brother Accused of Trying to Eat Stabbing Victim’s Face Says Suspect ‘Isn’t Himself Now’
The suspect remains hospitalized following a series of attempts, including tasers and a police dog, made by police to control him. “It was an impossible task to get him off of the victim,” Snyder said.
Speaking with PEOPLE, Stevens says he can’t imagine how he is going to explain to his stepson, 4, and daughter what happened to their grandfather.
“I don’t know what you do [in that situation],” he tells PEOPLE fighting back tears. “It’s horrible,” Stevens says he is grateful for his father’s friends who have come forward and offered to help with the children but “there is no real replacement for a grandfather.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
As Harrouff undergoes surgery and remains “heavily sedated,” Stevens tells PEOPLE he doesn’t care if the 19-year-old was on drugs or not, he can never take back what he did.
“He’s taken a lot away from us, not the [alleged] drugs, Austin,” Stevens says. “He’s taken a lot.”
He Just Wanted People to be Happy
Growing up, Stevens says, his father, a south Florida native, always talked about the importance of kindness and hard work.
“He cared about people, he was just charitable guy. He just wanted people to be happy,” Stevens says of his father, who owned fertilizer franchise before retiring.
The couple was killed while relaxing in their home’s garage, something they did often. “His garage was always open,” Steven says, remembering the space as the couple’s second living room including a television, couch and bar. “They called their garage the garage-mahal.”
When the couple weren’t at home, they were fishing– a hobby Stevens III had started when he was a boy: “He was an old Florida guy.”
“He always loved to fish and he used to take me out to fish,” Stevens says. “It’s been the light of his life.”
Part of his father’s love of the outdoors included conserving it. His son says when the BP oil spill happened; his father cried he was so upset.
RELATED VIDEO: What You Need to Know: Flakka
While his father and mother divorced when he was a child, Stevens says he grew up surrounded by love. “[Michelle and my dad] really loved each other,” he tells PEOPLE. “They were partners and he just loved her to death.”
Stevens is now preparing to fly to Florida from his Kansas home tomorrow to prepare for a memorial service Friday at the Parker Playhouse in Ft. Lauderdale at 1 p.m. He tells PEOPLE the family hope to cremate their loved ones and spread their combined ashes at sea.
Harrouff has been charged with aggravated battery in the attack and Snyder says that, if the teen pulls through, he will be charged with home invasion and two counts of murder.