Two young children—described as best friends—were repeatedly stabbed by a stranger in a Brooklyn elevator yesterday evening as they were on their way to get Icees. One child, Prince Joshua Avitto, 6, was pronounced dead at a local hospital while the other, Mikayla Capers, 7, remains in critical condition.
The attack took place in an elevator in the Boulevard Houses on Schenck Avenue in East New York just after 6 pm.
Sophia Diaz, one of the children's neighbors, told the New York Times she saw Mikayla in the hallway after the attack, covered in blood.
"'Did P.J. die?,'" the girl asked, according to Diaz. "Why did this man hurt me?"
From the Times:
Kevin Velez, a neighbor, described seeing the boy's mother run after his ambulance and bang on the door, begging to be allowed to ride with him. The medics would not let her in, he said.
Ms. Diaz drove the boy's mother to the hospital. After the mother was told that P.J. had died, she asked to see his body. When she saw that the boy had stab wounds in his neck, she began hugging him. " 'He was just a baby. He was just a baby,' " she cried, according to Ms. Diaz.
Diaz said Avitto was going to turn seven on June 17.
The suspect, described by police as heavyset and in his 20s, remains at large after fleeing the scene on foot. Police believe the attack was random.