Sunday evening, two children, who were on their way to get ice cream, were stabbed in an elevator in a Brooklyn neighborhood.
The boy, Prince Joshua “PJ” Avitto, was found near the elevator and the girl, Mikayla Capers, was found outside the building. According to police, the 6-year old boy and 7-year old girl were both stabbed in the torso with a steak knife. PJ, who would have celebrated his seventh birthday this month, was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. Mikayla has a collapsed lung and is fighting for her life, her family said.
Police believe they’ve found the knife used in the assault. The item was located outside the building which does not have security cameras. The suspect has been described as a heavy set Black man between the ages of 25 and 30 who was last seen wearing a gray shirt.
Authorities assured the public that they are determined to apprehend the person responsible for the senseless crime. “We cannot have a city where two … children going to get an ice cream are stabbed, one killed and the other fighting for her life. That is not the City of New York that we want to police,” New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told CNN. “There is a massive effort underway to find the perpetrator.”
Mikayla’s family has asked the public for prayers, while the Avitto family is preparing for PJ’s funeral services on Friday.
“My little son, my pride and joy, my life, my livelihood, my existence to live for is gone,” PJ’s father Nicholas Avitto said during a community vigil.
It’s not clear who caught of glimpse of the suspect, but a sketch was created and after taking a look at it, Nicholas told authorities that he recognized the man.
“As soon as I saw that picture today on the news, it dawned on me. This guy is a homeless guy. People in my building used to serve him meals. That sketch, he’s definitely the killer,” Nicholas said.
According to some reports, the two victims are cousins.
Investigators are looking into whether Sunday’s crime could be related to another stabbing death that occurred Friday night when Tanaya Copeland, 18, died from multiple stab wounds.
Watch the reports below.
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