Best friends Mikayla Capers, 7, and Prince Joshua Avitto, 6, were playing on Sunday night in the Brooklyn housing project where they live, when they became the victims of a horrific and seemingly random attack. The pair were on their way to get Icees just before 6 p.m. when a man followed them into an elevator in the Boulevard Houses on Schenck Avenue in East New York. While riding between the fourth and first floors, the man pulled out a knife and stabbed both children after telling them to “shut up,” police sources told the Daily News. The boy, known as P.J., was found dead in the elevator. Mikayla, who was stabbed more than 15 times, managed to stumble out into the hallway. A neighbor told the New York Times that as Mikayla rode in the ambulance she asked, “Did P.J. die?” and, “Why did this man hurt me?”
Police are still hunting for the suspect, who’s described as a heavyset man in his 20s wearing a grey sweatshirt. He ran off after the attack, and police found a knife at the scene. Police sources said they’re investigating a possible connection to the murder of Long Island University freshman Tanaya Grant, who was stabbed on Friday night just a few blocks away.
Mikayla underwent surgery on Sunday night, and her uncle said she was “fighting for her life.” “He took my pride and joy away,” said P.J.’s father, Nicholas Avitto. “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.”