Police have arrested the suspect in the stabbing attack of two children in East New York that left a 6-year-old boy dead.
Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was identified as a suspect in the grisly stabbing, police said at a news conference at 7:45 p.m.
He was arrested roughly 15 minutes later on 133rd Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, according to police.
As of presstime, St. Hubert had not yet been charged for allegedly stabbing Prince Joshua “PJ” Avitto to death just before 6 p.m. Sunday inside a Boulevard Houses elevator on Schenck Avenue.
He also allegedly stabbed PJ’s close friend, 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, more than a dozen times, but she survived. The pair were on an ice cream trip when they were attacked.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said St. Hubert had not been ruled out for the stabbing death of 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland a few blocks from the housing project.
“Everybody should consider him armed and dangerous,” Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. “He is a dangerous individual.”
Boyce said St. Hubert was released on parole last month for a domestic assault. He has nine prior arrests including for assaulting a police officer and corrections officer. Police believe he had shaved his beard and head in the past few days to change his appearance. He has a tattoo of the Aries astrological sign on his right forearm.
“The human dynamic here is so deeply moving, so disturbing,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at the news conference naming St. Hubert as a suspect.
PJ’s uncle, Scott Avitto, said on Tuesday the man in the police sketch looked “familiar,” adding that he’d seen the man “just in the neighborhood.” Just one day after he died, the boy’s father, Nicholas Avitto, took his backpack and walked the familiar route to his son’s elementary school.
“I’m going to miss my beloved baby son,” Avitto, 56, said. “I’m trying to stay strong. It’s a shame. He took my little boy away from me.”
PJ’s cousin, Chicago Bulls veteran Taj Gibson, posted a photo Monday on Instagram.
“They killed my lil superman,” Gibson’s accompanying tweet read. “Only two more weeks until your 7 birthday. Tears forever…this can’t be life.”
With Dan Rivoli