Prince Joshua Avitto would have been 7 years old this month, but instead of celebrating, his family will mourn the child who along with a playmate was stabbed in a Brooklyn elevator by a knife-wielding suspect still on the loose, police said.
Avitto, known to his family as P.J., and Mikayla Capers, 7, wanted to get a frozen treat on Sunday. They were taking the elevator in 845 Schenck Ave., part of the Boulevard Houses, a city housing authority complex in the east New York section of Brooklyn, when they were attacked by a husky man wearing a gray sweat shirt who slashed the children with a heavy meat knife, police said.
Both children were rushed to the hospital, where Avitto was pronounced dead on arrival. The girl was listed in critical condition on Monday.
“He took my pride and joy away,” P.J.'s father, Nicholas Avitto, told the New York Daily News, adding that he never got a chance to kiss his son.
His mother told the New York Post that her son was just 16 days from turning 7.
“They done killed my baby,” the mother, who did not give her name, said outside Brookdale Hospital. “His birthday was in 16 days! Lord, they done killed my baby!”
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters that investigators are working on a sketch of the suspect, last seen fleeing the building, going east. Bratton said it's possible the suspect is the same person who stabbed a teen to death a few blocks away on Friday night.
Mikayla Capers’ mother, Sherina Capers, 21, said she couldn't understand how someone could attack two little children.
“They went to go get an icy and they never made it downstairs,” she said.