A New Jersey mother is facing murder and attempted murder charges for allegedly stabbing her 7-year-old son to death and her other teenage son for trying to jump in and protect his little brother.
Police in Paterson responded to a home on 6th Street Saturday morning after receiving reports of a stabbing, Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia Valdes and Police Chief Ibrahim Baycora said. Officers found a 7-year-old boy and his 17-year-old brother with stab wounds around 7 a.m.
The brothers were rushed to St. Joseph's University Medical Center but the youngest did not survive his injuries. Officials said his older brother suffered a single stab wound to his upper arm and was released from the hospital several hours later.
"This is domestic violence that turned into an unspeakable tragedy. The 7-year-old stabbed multiple times, and I mean multiple times, and then his brother was stabbed once trying to help," Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said Saturday afternoon.
Police arrested their mother, 46-year-old Iris Tolentino, for allegedly stabbing both of her sons. A third son, a 15-year-old, was also home at the time but was not injured.
Tolentino now faces several charges including murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, and aggravated assault on an officer.
Officials said the woman injured two officers when she resisted arrest. She was also taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.
The superintendent for Paterson schools called the boy's death an "extremely traumatic situation" and said virtual counseling would be provided as well as in-person at the schools of the brothers on Monday and Wednesday of this week.
“Everyone in the Paterson Public School District is shocked and saddened by the tragic incident on Saturday that led to a child’s death and a teenager’s injuries. We pray for the family who has sustained such great tragedies in a single day, and for our own Paterson Public Schools family as all of the victims are enrolled in our schools," Superintendent Eileen Shafer said in a statement released Sunday.
No motive for stabbing was released by officials Saturday. The investigation is ongoing.