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Two young children on their way to get Icees were brutally stabbed by a man who got on the elevator after them in the Brooklyn housing project where they lived on Sunday.

Prince Joshua Avitto, 6, was pronounced dead at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, while the girl, 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, had been in critical condition before she was transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

According to the New York Times:

Deputy Chief Patrick Conry said the two children — the 6-year-old-boy and the 7-year-old girl — were stabbed shortly before 6 p.m. at the Boulevard Houses on Schenck Avenue in East New York. Police officials said they did not believe the children were related to each other or to the assailant, a man who Chief Conry said fled on foot.

Police recovered a knife at the scene. No arrest has been made as of Monday.

Sophia Diaz lived near the boy, who was known in the neighborhood as P.J. She was inside her apartment when she heard someone call her, saying that Mikayla had been stabbed. She rushed outside and saw the girl bloodied, then heard screams about P.J. also being stabbed.

“’Did P.J. die?,’” she said the girl asked Ms. Diaz’s sister in the ambulance. “‘Why did this man hurt me?’” Ms. Diaz’s sister said Mikayla was stabbed in the chest and had cuts on her hand.

The two children had been friends since they were toddlers and had grown up together in the Boulevard Houses. Makayla was visiting P.J. at the time of the attack.

Chief Conry spoke briefly at a news conference at the scene that Police Commissioner William J. Bratton attended. People gathered at the scene were embracing each other, crying and shaking their heads.

“That mother lost a child, but we all lost a child,” said Clara Woods, the vice president of the Boulevard Houses Tenant Association. “This is a happy little boy. This is a pleasant little girl. They were going to get an Icee on a nice warm day,” she said in disbelief. “When something happens to one, it happens to us all.”

The suspect was described as heavyset and in his 20s. He remains at large.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims during this difficult time.

SOURCE: New York Times | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.

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