OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- New details are coming to light about the man who was arrested for the stabbing death of a veteran U.S. Postal Service worker in Oakland. At the same time, the victim's son is sharing his grief and message of compassion to the community.
Miles Spruill had tears in his eyes while pointing out the stretch of West Oakland road where his mother took her last breaths.
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"She thought about me first... she thought about me first and making sure I got to work on time."
That selflessness is just one of the ways Miles will remember his mother Dilma. A determined, yet ebullient 71-year-old immigrant from Brazil who fiercely loved her only son.
"My mom was a tough cookie, let me tell you! She was 5'2" packed a punch, didn't take no mess - my best friend," Miles said.
That closeness is also what makes it so hard for Miles to comprehend what happened just after midnight on Wednesday. His mom, who worked for the postal service for 18 years was walking home from work and just around the corner from the house. But she ever made it.
"Just three houses down she was stabbed to death. Multiple times. More than 12 times. The suspect slit her throat," he said.
Wilbert Winchester, 28, was arrested and charged with murder and attempted murder. Oakland police say he's being investigated for another stabbing along International Boulevard two days prior. The district attorney adds, Winchester served three years back in 2018 for elder abuse.
Miles says while he can forgive, he cannot forget and that now is the time to show compassion.
"I don't know what he went through, what he's going through, but we need to love him and embrace him with open arms, regardless. That's still another brother it's still another sister, another individual that needs help."
While Miles is unsure if mental health played a role in the suspect's decision to kill his mother, he vows to push for more resources so others can get treatment if needed.
"Mental health in the African American community is not being thought of," he said.
As neighbors and friends stop by, they embrace Dilma's son and offer their respects as they remember this once fixture in the neighborhood.
One woman who lived next door for a number of years says everyone knew Dilma and similar to a neighborhood momma.
"Everything is missing. I'm numb, I'm sick to my stomach, I don't sleep," says Miles, thinking about the loss. He says he now must keep it together to care for his disabled stepfather and family.
"Live her legacy and spirit. That's what she would want me to do. Mom I love you, I got this. I'm going to make you proud."
Winchester made his first court appearance Friday morning and was denied bail. His plea hearing will be on Feb. 3.
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