An 18-year-old man was stabbed multiple times early Tuesday morning by a co-worker he was camping with at the Cochise Stronghold inside the Chiricahua National Monument, the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said.
The suspect, 38-year-old Bryan Benally of Tonalea, was arrested and has been charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault, investigators said.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas said victim John Shaver sought help from a couple camping in the area. Thomas and Barb Lewis of California told investigators that they were in their camper when someone banged on their door Tuesday at about 3 a.m. They saw Shaver outside covered in blood.
“The callers advised that they helped the young man by getting him into their vehicle and driving down the mountain to call 911,” Capas said.
When sheriff’s deputies and a Department of Public Safety trooper arrived, Shaver told them he had been attacked by Benally. Capas said the men had been working nearby on a construction job and stayed at the Cochise Stronghold campground overnight.
It’s not clear what prompted the stabbing, Capas said. The incident remains under investigation.
Deputies, the Sheriff’s Ranch Patrol, a Sheriff’s Search and Rescue sergeant, and a Department of Public Safety chopper searched for Benally. He was found at about 7 a.m. Tuesday in a remote area of the national monument, Capas said.
He was arrested and is being held at the Cochise County Jail. Shaver meanwhile, was airlifted to a Tucson hospital after he was stabilized by Sunsites Fire Department personnel, Capas said.