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.
The suspect, who is still on the loose, 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 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," Mayor de Blasio said.
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.
In the Sunday attack, the boy, identified as Prince Joshua Avitto, was found near the elevator and the girl was found just outside the building.
Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, who is from Brooklyn, on Monday tweeted about his heartbreak for the boy he called "my lil super man," and relatives confirmed Gibson has connections to the family.
The little boy, nicknamed PJ, was described by friends and relatives as "the sweetest of boys."
"No parent should have to go through this. He killed my baby," his mother wailed as she fell into a friend's arms outside the hospital.
The little girl, identified as Mikayla Capers, has a collapsed lung and is fighting for her life, her family said.
On Monday morning, Prince's devastated father 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."
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.