Texas man yelling ‘Jesus is coming’ while stabbing toddler is shot by neighbor trying to stop attack, cops say

A Texas man beat and stabbed his 1-year-old son to death in the courtyard of an apartment complex Sunday -- despite a valiant attempt to stop the brutal assault by a neighbor who heard screams and grabbed his gun, police said.

A neighbor near the Oak Forest Apartments in Lewisville fired three shots, one of which hit the father in the leg, and a nearby woman tossed a garbage can at the man in a desperate bid to end the assault, FOX4 Dallas reported.

But the daring intervention came too late and the 16-month-old child died at the hospital. The child, father and neighbors were not immediately identified.

A witness said the father yelled "Jesus is coming" during the 1 p.m. attack, and told anyone around the apartment complex to watch.

Lewisville Police Capt. Jesse Hunter said the incident was “probably the worst” he’s seen in the 20 years he’s been on the force.

“For them to witness something like that, I feel for them, you know. They had to endure the same thing the police and firefighters had to endure this afternoon to see that small baby get assaulted,” Hunter said.

The father was arrested and taken to a hospital for the gunshot wound. It’s unclear what prompted the attack.

The neighbor who fired his gun will not face criminal charges, officials said.

The child’s mother was at work when Sunday’s incident occurred. The family had no prior history with police or Child Protective Services, FOX4 reported. Charges against the father have not been announced.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam