Saturday, November 22, 2014

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Police Seek Man Who Fatally Stabbed Young Boy, Wounded Girl in Brooklyn

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As police search for the person who stabbed two children Sunday, killing one of them, sources tell NY1 that authorities say it's a strong possibility that the same person may have stabbed an 18-year-old over the weekend.

Investigators say Prince Joshua "PJ" Avitto, 6, was stabbed in the torso around 6 p.m. inside an elevator at the Boulevard Houses located at 845 Schenck Avenue in East New York.

He was later pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital.

Mikayla Capers, 7, was also stabbed in the torso.

She underwent surgery and is in critical condition.

"Everybody watch yourself. This should happen to nobody, Lord. Father Jesus be with us all, Lord. We gonna get him. We gonna get him, y'all," said the boy's mother, Erica Avitto.

"The man followed them into the elevator and told them not to say anything, and then just started stabbing them," said Sophia Diaz, a family friend.

"We need to shut this down right now. We've got 7-year-olds being killed, and that is not supposed to happen in our community. We're not supposed to be burying our kids. They're supposed to be burying us," said community activist Tony Herbert. "This person needs to get up off our streets, and everybody needs to be outraged, and they need to be out here now looking for this individual, and let's get him put in jail and let him be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

The boy's uncle, Scott Avitto, said the two kids were as close as siblings and always together.

"It's a senseless killing. You got two children, got young girl fighting for her life. It's unfortunate that my nephew had to lose his life," Avitto said.

Police recovered a knife at the scene.

They are looking for a heavyset man wearing a gray shirt who they say ran east through the housing complex.

Community leaders say there are no security cameras anywhere in the building where the attack took place.

"NYCHA drags its feet on putting cameras in our buildings, and this is totally unacceptable and unconscionable," said community activist Charles Barron.

"If we had a camera and a visual, a picture, a photo, we could give to community organizations, we could give it to local shops, and police would have it on patrol," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Sources tell NY1 that the person responsible for the kids' attack may also be behind Friday's deadly attack on 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland.

She was stabbed more than two dozen times.

Her body was found just blocks from Sunday's crime scene.

Anyone with information on the case should contact the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS, or text CRIMES and then enter TIP577, or visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com.

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