"They did [chest] compressions all the way to the hospital, but they couldn't get a heartbeat," Iron Lightning said she was told. "My mind went blank, and then I fell apart. I couldn't comprehend it."
Police got a call from Utah Transit Authority at 12:07 a.m. Thursday reporting a severely injured man at the TRAX train station at 350 W. South Temple, across from the EnergySolutions Arena.
Family members told The Tribune Schad he was stabbed in the chest and abdomen.
Iron Lightning later learned her son made it to his job at Deseret Industries on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Monday was the last day she actually saw him.
"We were talking about having an Indian taco dinner this weekend," she said, adding that Schad was looking forward to the meal. "He said, 'You for sure? We going to do this?' " She said he asked because he wanted to have friends over.
Iron Lightning said friends at church described her son as soft-spoken, polite and respectful. But his vice was drinking an addiction that got in the way of his desire to hold a steady job.
Court records indicate Schad has been charged numerous times with alcohol-related offenses. He was also convicted of battery and simple assault, both class B misdemeanors.
Iron Lightening said her son was always putting others first, he made people laugh and he was respectful of women.
Schad's younger brother, Dylan Iron Lightning, said that despite a 10-year gap in their ages, they were close. He said he has fond memories of going out to eat with his brother. That is when they would talk the most. He said he loved his brother's "humor and his jokes."
Schad was well known around Pioneer Park and at the nearby homeless shelter, his mother said, and he made friends easily. Schad had been living with his family in Taylorsville, but recently moved to a downtown hostel. He leaves behind his family and a wife.
Salt Lake Police Detective Cary Wichmann said Thursday that information regarding a suspect was "very limited."
Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call police at (801) 799-3000. The case number is 11-109555.
Reporter Bob Mims contributed to this report.