Mothers of children stabbed in elevator ‘relive nightmare’ everyday

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EAST NEW YORK (PIX11)– Three New York mothers are struggling to survive their daily lives following the vicious stabbings of their children.

Erica McClinton, mother of slain 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto, and Bridget Capers, guardian of Mikayala Capers, Avitto’s friend who was critically injured when a knife-wielding man cornered them in a Brooklyn elevator, spoke exclusively with PIX11 News after their little ones were attacked.

“I’m holding up through my faith in God and Angel at my points,” McClinton said. “Day by day is a day by day process”

“Coming in everyday and hearing the sound of an ambulance the other night just brings back memories,” Capers said.

McClinton would often break down in tears when recalling the day her young son was killed.

Avitto and Capers were on their way to get ice cream June 1 when recently paroled Daniel St. Hubert allegedly stabbed them in the elevator of the Boulevard Houses, located at 845 Schenck Ave. in the East New York section of Brooklyn.

Avitto died from his injuries. Capers was stabbed some 16 times as she tried to protect her young friend.

While the alleged perpetrator is behind bars, these mothers still feel uneasy about the apartments where they live. Even elevators are still too much to bear. For them, it’s reliving a nightmare.

“No elevator for me,” McClinton said. “Maybe if I move, if it’s another building, apartment or floor, I may take the stairs then. But no, I don’t get on the elevator at any of these complexes because for me they’re all the same.

“I still take the stairs up down, up down,” she said. “I take laundry bags up the stairs. I can’t.”

Rochelle Copeland, the mother of Tanaya Copeland, returned to work in retail after her 18-year-old daughter was stabbed to death not far from where the children were attacked. She is still waiting to see if St. Hubert is responsible for her daughter’s death.

“So far there’s no evidence that connects them,” she told PIX11 News. “So we are just in limbo waiting.”

Unlike McClinton and Capers, Copeland has been able to return to her daughter’s crime scene.

“Well, actually it really doesn’t bother me,” she said.

Instead she feels the “support” of her friends and family through the memorial they placed for her there.

Capers is still recovering and has a long way before she goes back to being a little girl, her mother said. She faces a difficult task ahead as she will likely need to testify in court against St. Hubert.

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