NBC 4 New York
Police are looking for a man who attacked two children in an elevator, stabbing a 6-year-old boy to death and critically injuring a 7-year-old girl, in what appeared to be a random attack days after he may have also brutally stabbed a teenager nearby. Ida Siegal reports.
Police on Tuesday continued looking for a man who attacked two children in an elevator -- stabbing a 6-year-old boy to death and critically injuring a 7-year-old girl -- in what appeared to be a random attack days after he may have also brutally stabbed a teenager nearby.
The boy, identified as Prince Joshua Avitto, was found near the elevator and the girl was found just outside the building. He is a cousin of Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson.
In a Tweet, Gibson said the boy was two weeks from celebrating his birthday.
"No parent should have to go through this. He killed my baby," Avitto's mother wailed as she fell into a friend's arms outside the hospital.
The devastated father on Monday morning put on his son's backpack and retraced the steps his son would have walked to school.
"I don't know why someone would do that to a 6-year-old boy," said Nicholas Avitto at a community vigil later in the evening. "My little son. My pride and joy. My life, my livelihood, my existence to live for is gone."
The little girl, identified as Mikayla Capers, suffered a collapsed lung and was fighting for her life, according to family members.
The man attacked the children with a steak knife at around 6 p.m. Sunday in the building on Schenck Avenue in East New York, police said. They children were both stabbed in the torso, and were believed to be on their way to get frozen treats.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said Monday that the suspect was a husky man wearing a gray sweatshirt as he fled eastbound. There were no video cameras at the housing complex, he said.
"There is a massive effort underway to find the perpetrator," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
— Taj Gibson (@TajGibson22) June 2, 2014
Police believe the suspect may be the same person who stabbed a teen to death a few blocks away on Friday night. Investigators are reviewing what Bratton said is grainy video of that stabbing.
Dozens of officers have been assigned to the corner of Schenck and Stanley avenues in one of New York's most violent neighborhoods as part of the investigation.
NBC New York's Ida Siegal and Andrew Siff contributed to this report. Additional reporting by The Associated Press.