crimesider

Suspect arrested in stabbing of 2 New York City children

Prince Joshua Avitto (left), 6, was fatally stabbed, and 7-year-old Mikayla Capers was critically injured, in an attack in an apartment building elevator in Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday June 1, 2014. CBS New York

NEW YORK - A man was arrested Wednesday evening in a brutal stabbing attack that killed a 6-year-old boy and critically injured a 7-year-old girl in a New York City public housing building that didn't have security cameras.

Police said Daniel St. Hubert, 27, was arrested shortly after 8 p.m., police said. The arrest came less than an hour after police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials identified St. Hubert and implored the public to help find him, CBS New York reported.

Police said Prince Joshua "P.J." Avitto and his friend Mikayla Capers were riding in an elevator in Brooklyn's Boulevard Houses to get ice cream Sunday when they were randomly attacked. Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson says P.J. was his cousin.

stabbing-arrest.jpg
The arrest came after police released this sketch of a man suspected in a stabbing attack on two children in an elevator at a Brooklyn housing project.
New York Police Department/AP

Police said the attacker used a steak knife to stab each child multiple times.

Authorities are also investigating whether the suspect may have fatally stabbed a teenager days earlier a few blocks away. Tanaya Copeland, 18, was killed May 30.

St. Hubert had been paroled on May 23 for an assault conviction. He has been charged in the past with assaulting a police officer and a correction officer, police Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said at the news conference.

He was identified by linking DNA off the knife used in the stabbings with the name of someone whose DNA was in the New York Police Department's system, sources told CBS New York.

Mikayla remains in critical but stable condition. Her family said she is in the intensive care unit and has a breathing tube and is in and out of consciousness, but responding to commands.

Outrage over the horrific stabbing grew when it was revealed that there was no security camera in the elevator where the children were attacked.

Nearly 60 percent of the city's public housing buildings - home to more than 615,000 New Yorkers - don't have operational security cameras, according to city officials, including Brooklyn's Boulevard Houses, where the stabbing occurred.

The mayor lashed out this week at his own administration's failure to install such cameras despite money set aside for the New York City Housing Authority to do so.

"I think it's unacceptable bureaucracy, it's as simple as that," de Blasio said. "The buck stops with me. And I've ordered all these cameras put in place this year."

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