EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (PIX11) – There is nothing, no logical or acceptable reason or explanation to justify what happened to these two children. Both of them were stabbed in the torso area, inside their apartment building elevator Sunday at the Boulevard Houses in the East New York section of Brooklyn, by an unknown attacker.
Prince “P.J.” Avitto, 6, died of his injures. His 7-year-old friend, Mikayla Capers, is barely holding on, fighting for her life at a hospital.
P.J. was the cousin of Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson.
“They killed my lil super man,” Gibson posted on his Instagram page. “#rippj only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever.”
Nicholas Avitto, P.J’s father, told PIX11 he woke up bright and early Monday morning, as he does every weekday, to take P.J. to school, even as detectives searched for the boy’s killer. The crime, so brutal and senseless in nature, has touched an entire neighborhood, and the man in charge of the department responsible for making an arrest.
There is no surveillance camera installed in the building and the description of the man accused of stabbing the two children — a heavyset black male wearing a gray sweatshirt — is not only vague, but possibly too generic to lead to an immediate arrest.
In short, a surveillance camera, P.J’s uncle Scott Avitto said, should have already been installed.
“It could have played a big role. Maybe we couldn’t have stopped the situation. But we could have at least apprehended the person, or had a good idea of who you’re looking for. It’s a senseless killing. You got two little children,” Avitto said.
Keep in mind the New York City Housing Authority, an agency which remains deep in the red, does not make budgetary allocations for most of the surveillance camera systems in its developments.
That’s left up to local and state officials, who must secure the funds on their own. Former Councilman Charles Barron secured $500,000 last July for cameras at the Boulevard Houses where the stabbings took place.
Those cameras, which could have captured the image of the suspect, are still not up.
“If somebody’s running around like that, it’s unbelievable, chaotic. He’s got to be stopped,” P.J’s father said.