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'Vicious assault, with no rhyme or reason': First responders, community feeling the emotional toll after mother stabs children

Jamesiha Taylor allegedly stabbed her 2 children Thursday. Lucas Co. Sheriff Mike Navarre described the scene as "horrific" and the crime difficult to comprehend.

LUCAS COUNTY, Ohio — WTOL 11 spoke with Lucas County Sheriff Mike Navarre, as well as some neighbors to get a better idea of what could have led to the tragic incident Thursday night when 28-year-old Jamesiha Taylor allegedly stabbed her two children.

The sheriff said there's no significant criminal history that he could find with Taylor and neighbors describe her as a "mama bear" and very protective of her children. 

"This was a pretty vicious assault, with no rhyme or reason. A mother hurting her own children, which is really hard to comprehend for most people, including myself," Navarre said.

It's also really emotional for the responding officers, Navarre said. After the scene was cleared last night, deputies returned to the station and talked through their feelings.

Because traumatic crime is so common, the sheriff's office implemented a procedure to help the deputies through the process. It's called the CIS team, which stands for critical incident stress management. 

The sheriff explained it's designed to be a safe space where officers involved in traumatic situations can talk out their feelings with other officers who have gone through similar situations. 

"Normally, members of the team - at least from the law enforcement side - are individuals that have been through this and have dealt with this, so that when they talk to their peers and tell them what to expect and how they should be reacting, they can do that from their own personal experience," he said.

The incident is still something those who know the two children were talking about the next day.

"I was talking to the superintendent of Springfield schools Friday morning," Navarre said, "and they're dealing with the same issue out there with the students, the classmates."

WTOL 11 spoke with Jamesiha Taylor's neighbors who describe her as a vigilant mother who never let her children, a 7-year-old and an 8-year-old, out of her sight.

"Very protective. She's quiet. They speak when they're spoken to," Jessica Harris said. "The kids also played outside with all the other neighborhood kids around here."

Harris explained she saw the children leave in an ambulance, but Taylor was nowhere to be found. That's when she knew something was wrong.

The incident was particularly difficult for Harris.

"[I'm] a lot disturbed, yes, because I have a one-year-old myself and she stands at the door all the time and she waves at the kids and the mom all the time," she said.

The neighborhood shares the sentiment, as anyone who hears the news would. Including those who were first on the scene.

Navarre said the mental toll it takes when little ones are involved can stick with officers for a lifetime. 

"If you talk to most law enforcement officers," he said, "they will tell you this is the most difficult part of the job - seeing young children hurt."

Taylor appeared in court Friday and faces two counts each of felonious assault and domestic violence. Her bond was set at $700,000 and she is due in court again next week.

The children are hospitalized. The girl is in critical condition and the boy seriously injured, with no further updates as of Saturday afternoon.


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