BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- At 10:15 p.m. last Thursday, the Bakersfield Police Department responded to the intersection of Clifton and Texas streets in south Bakersfield after getting reports of a stabbing.
Kyla Labat, the suspect named by police, admitted to the stabbing. The 27-year-old woman told Eyewitness News her actions were justified because she was fighting for her life.
Since Thursday’s incident, Labat said she's had death threats relayed to her through family members. Labat's relatives told her that groups of young women have come to their houses saying they have a loaded gun and are looking for her.
"I think they're gonna kill me. That's what they want now. I’m scared now," Labat said.
Labat told our news team the incident started earlier Thursday evening when her younger cousin got into an altercation with a group of teenagers and young women.
"My cousin - my little cousin - she had some words with some girls earlier that day, and they wanted to fight her," Labat said. "She was gonna go out there and fight, and I said, ‘No … there’s too many of them, and they're probably gonna jump you.'"
Labat said she convinced her younger cousin to calm down and stay inside. After some time passed, she thought it would be OK to walk to the store. Labat said she made it only a few houses down the street before another altercation began.
"That's when the girl, the bigger one … the one that I stabbed hit me. And when she hit me, she hit me so hard. I hit the concrete, and when I hit the concrete I blacked out," said Labat.
Russell Glenn-Durgin was on his way home, when he turned off his usual route to stop at the store. He said as he turned onto Clifton Street he noticed a group of five females surrounding Labat.
"They were hitting this poor girl with sticks, bats … stomping her. She lost consciousness because (of the way) she just fell and the way her body laid on the ground. She went limp," Glenn-Durgin remembered during an interview.
He said he pulled over and tried yelling at the girls to stop. That's when he decided it was necessary to interfere.
“As I went to get out of my truck, the life came back into her and she got up, and she just … she was a tiger by the tail,” said Glenn-Durgin.
"I didn't know what was going on. When I did come to, I have [girls] hitting me in my face, two people kicking me on the side," Labat said. "I didn't even realize I even knew I had my knife on me, I don't even know how I opened it or even stabbed anybody."
Labat stabbed one of the females multiple times. The girl was taken to a local hospital Thursday night and treated for minor injuries.
She said she stabbed the girl in self-defense and as soon as they let her go, she stopped and ran away.
“I was just trying to get myself away. I am sorry, but I was fearing for myself. I was fearing for my life. I thought they were gonna kill me," said Labat.
Glenn-Durgin agreed with Labat, saying he feels she did the right thing.
"They would have killed her, because they were non-stop. They just kept throwing punches and hitting her with sticks and stomping her and kicking her... They’re the ones the law should be going after… [Labat] was a victim."
Labat said she has already been in contact with BPD and will turn herself in on Sunday. She said she's been waiting for her mother to get to town so her two young boys are safe and with family, so if she is sent to jail they aren’t alone.
"It's not even so much that I’m scared for myself. It’s for my little boys… I just want them to be out of harm’s way because right now they're in jeopardy ... and I can't let that happen," said Labat.