A Brooklyn father is mourning the death of his six-year-old son, Prince Joshua Avitto, after he and a playmate were stabbed while in the elevator of a Brooklyn housing project.
“God gave me a blessing,” 56-year-old Nicholas Avitto told the Daily News of his deceased son. “I had him at 50. He was born on Father’s Day. I will remember his smile, his arrogance, his stubborn little ways. He’d say, ‘Daddy, you all right!’”
“I’m just so hurt,” Nicholas continued. “They took my little boy away from me, oh my God,” he said.
P.J.’s seven-year-old pal, Mikayla Capers, somehow survived the vicious knife attack. When the elevator reached the ground floor, Mikayla managed to crawl out. P.J. was found lying inside.
“Poor thing fought her little heart out,” said Mikayla’s dad, Trevathan, who is also a retired city Corrections Department officer. “She fought for her life. She has defensive wounds on her hands.”
Both children were rushed to Brookdale University Hospital where P.J. passed away. Mikayla was later transfered to Columbia University Medical Center where she remains in “stable condition.”
“I was there when the doctor came to Erica, P.J.’s mom, and said, ‘I’m sorry, your son didn’t make it,’” Trevathan said. “Everyone lost it. I fell to the floor.”
Family members say Mikayla and P.J. were “like brother and sister.”
“They’d all play together, everybody watched them together,” said P.J.’s uncle, Scott Avitto. “Someone took a child’s life away.”
According to NYPD spokesperson Stephen Davis, the children were playing outside when they were told that there were ices upstairs waiting for them. They were already in the elevator when the knife-wielding madman entered the lift. Officers are still on the hunt for the killer. Police suspect that the same person is behind the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Long Island University student Tanaya Grant, who was attacked in the same neighborhood on Friday night. The suspect is believed to be a heavyset man in his 20s.