Man killed saving woman from knife attack in Warren

Demetrius Johnson called hero for stepping in during attack

By Jermont Terry - Reporter, Dawn Jorgenson - Graham Media Group

WARREN, Mich. - One family is grieving and another hopes their loved one survives after police said a man stepped in to save a woman getting attacked with a knife by her ex-husband.

UPDATE: Man charged in deadly Warren knife attack

Demetrius Johnson is being called a hero for stepping in around 2 a.m in Warren just off 9 Mile.

Early Sunday morning, while friends gathered at a house on Timken, violence broke out inside.

"He came up behind her and starting stabbing her," said Jennifer Battisti, whose boyfriend, Demetrius Johnson, was killed and cousin was injured during the stabbing.

Police said Misty Battisti's ex-husband crashed a party at the house. They stepped outside to talk, but while talking, police said the ex-husband pulled out a knife stabbed Misty multiple times, including the head, face and back.

"She lost a couple of fingers, severed her tendons," Jennifer said of Misty.

Jennifer Battisti's boyfriend, Johnson, was at her house at the time. He ran outside to stop the attack, but he found himself with stab wounds, bleeding. The 24-year-old collapsed and died in the front yard.

"I hope I don't lose my cousin, but I'm so thankful that Demetrius stepped in and saved her life. I just feel horrible that he had to lose his," Jennifer Battisti said.

Johnson's family is saddened by the killing.

"(He was a) family guy," his cousin, Ericka Johnson, said. "Everyone is shocked. He always had a smile on his face."

But they're not stunned he died saving someone he barely knew.

"It doesn't surprise me," Ericka Johnson said. "He would intervene to do something to help a woman who was being attacked. If my cousin was a coward he'd still be alive."

Jennifer Battisti and Demetrius Johnson started dating only a few months ago.

"He told me he loved me last night about an hour before it happened," Jennifer said.

And while she lost the man she fell in love with, she knows her cousin is alive for one reason.

"He's a hero," Jennifer said. "He's mine, my whole family's, at this point."

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