Hundreds of New Yorkers, some crying and others wearing photo-emblazoned T-shirts, gathered Friday to mourn a 6-year-old Brooklyn boy stabbed in a public housing project elevator.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Rev. Al Sharpton attended a private wake before the funeral of Prince Joshua Avitto, known as P.J. The line of relatives, friends and community members stretched around the block outside the St. Paul Community Baptist Church in the East New York neighborhood. Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, who called Avitto his cousin, attended the service with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.
Slideshows of the smiling boy were displayed above the church's main stage.
On Thursday, police charged a recently released convict with murder and other crimes in the Sunday death of P.J. and the critical wounding of 7-year-old Mikayla Capers.
Police said Daniel St. Hubert is also a suspect in the Wednesday nonfatal stabbing of a homeless man on a Manhattan subway platform and the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland a week ago, just blocks from the Brooklyn elevator attack. He is not charged in those crimes.
Investigators are now reviewing all stabbings citywide that have occurred since St. Hubert's release on May 23.
St. Hubert, 27, served time for attempted murder and assault. Court records show he was arrested in May 2009 after punching his mother in the face, choking her with an electrical cord and stealing her car. He pleaded guilty in July 2012.
St. Hubert was expected to get a new lawyer on Friday, according to the Brooklyn district attorney's office.