Combat medic who served in Afghanistan stabbed to death after argument

Lakota Brightman was a U.S. Army combat medic. Photo credit: Facebook

Lakota Brightman, an Afghanistan War veteran, was stabbed to death earlier this week in Richmond, California.

According to KRON, the suspect is 50-year-old Mark Nelson, who was arrested on a warrant for the murder and is now behind bars.

Police responded to an emergency call reporting a stabbing, but the suspect left the scene by the time police arrived.  The victim walked into a store for help and was transported to the hospital, where he died.

Police allege that Nelson stabbed Brightman once in the upper left side of this chest after the two argued.  When video surveillance was reviewed, Nelson was identified and recognized as someone who had previous arguments with the victim.

Mark Nelson is accused in the fatal stabbing of Lakota Brightman.
Mark Nelson is accused in the fatal stabbing of Lakota Brightman.

According to Patch, the victim’s brother, Quanah Brightman, told reporters that Lakota served as a field medic in the U.S. Army and was homeless for more than a year before the incident.

“My brother, he wanted to help people and that’s why he went into the Army as a field medic.  All of his friends who went over there and served with him, they had a lot of admiration and respect for him. They used to call him ‘Doc Brightman.’”

“He fought for this country and when he came home, our home had already been foreclosed and he was forced to live on the street,” Quanah Brightman said.

This is the second tradegy the Brightman family has undergone in a short period of time.  Another brother was hit by a train in March.  “Now, I’m in the process of mourning two brothers,” Quanah Brightman said.

Lakota and Quanah had some arguments later in life, but Quanah said he always looked up to Lakota and thought of him as a kind-hearted, gentle individual.

“He was a hero to me growing up as a kid.  He was always very sociable. He was just a smooth, cool person who a lot of people in our community looked up to.”

Besides Quanah, Lakota Brightman is survived by his two daughters, Phoebe and Starr.

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