When Jean Pujol’s phone rang early Monday morning, the news from his family in Kentucky was the worst imaginable for the Covington grandfather: His 6-year-old grandson, Logan Tipton, was dead, stabbed by a stranger as he lay sleeping in his bed.
Pujol and his mother, 82-year-old Norma O’Hara, of Metairie, were among family members who headed to Versailles, Kentucky, to mourn the loss of the kindergarten student and support his grieving parents and four siblings.
Logan was stabbed multiple times in the head, according to news reports. Ronald Exantus, 32, of Indianapolis, was arrested at the scene after being held by Dean Tipton, the boy’s father, until police arrived.
Exantus entered a plea of not guilty to murder and first-degree burglary, according to news reports, and is being held on $1 million bail.
Pujol said he is struggling to come to terms with the loss. He described Logan, who turned 6 last month, as a smart boy who was loved by everyone for his affectionate and outgoing nature.
“Everything he did was for good,” he said.
Logan had just finished his first season playing football and was due to get a league award for most valuable offensive player, Pujol said. His coaches called him a natural athlete.
His funeral was held Friday at the Woodford County High School football field.
Now, the focus of family and friends is on helping the family cope with their loss.
The other children do not want to go back to the house, Pujol said, describing them as deeply traumatized. Two of Logan’s sisters were cut in the attack, although they did not require hospital treatment. Logan’s 11-year-old sister awoke and tried to fight off the assailant, according to court records cited in news reports.
Members of the family’s church will help move the family’s possessions out of the rental home and put what they don’t need immediately into storage, Pujol said.
He described Versailles as a supportive community that is rallying to help the family.
Pujol, a horse trainer, lived for a time in Kentucky, and his daughters both ended up settling there.
Dean, his son-in-law, is awaiting shoulder surgery and won’t be able to return to work until February. His daughter Heather works for Amazon and is studying business, but she is taking time off from work following Logan’s death.
She was at work when the attack took place at 4 a.m. Monday.
An online effort to help the family with moving expenses, funeral costs and counseling for the children has raised close to its $50,000 goal on gofundme.com.
Pujol said he had planned to visit the family in August, but health issues prevented the trip. During his last phone conversation with Logan, the little boy asked when he would visit, and Pujol told him it wouldn’t be until next year.
“He said, ‘I understand,’ ” Pujol said, describing him as mature for his age.
“The little boy was loved,” his grandfather said, describing the outpouring of emotion from schoolmates, teachers and others who knew him.
The Woodford Youth Football League posted its own tribute to the boy on its Facebook page: “Rest in peace, baby Logan. We will miss you. You were small but you were fierce.”
Follow Sara Pagones on Twitter, @spagonesadvocat.