It was almost 6 p.m. on Sunday, and the children had gone down in the elevator of an apartment building in the East New York section of Brooklyn, N.Y., in search of some ice cream.
They never made it out.
Six-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto, affectionately known as “P.J.,” was found in the elevator, while 7-year-old Mikayla Capers was found just outside the elevator, the Daily News reports.
According to the news site, the culprit, who is still on the run, is believed to be a heavyset African-American male in his 20s. He reportedly stabbed the children in their torsos after telling them to “shut up” and then ran off.
Families and friends of the children are grappling with the senseless crime.
“He took my pride and joy away,” P.J.’s father, Nicholas Avitto, told the Daily News. Avitto expressed sorrow that he had not given his son a kiss that day. “I’m devastated. I’m beyond comprehension. I’m trying to understand how God works. My son is gone. That was the light of my life.”
P.J. would have turned 7 in just a couple of days.
Mikayla’s family also expressed their horror and disbelief that this could happen to the two small children. “This don’t make no sense. This is kids. You don’t do this to kids,” her mother, Sherina Capers, 21, told the Daily News. “They went to go get an icy and they never made it downstairs.”
The attack comes days after the Friday-night fatal stabbing of Long Island University freshman Tanaya Grant in the same neighborhood. According to the Daily News, authorities are not ruling out a possible connection between the two crimes.