ONE POLICE PLAZA — A violent ex-convict was arrested for a knife attack that left a 6-year-old boy dead and a 7-year-old girl hospitalized in East New York just days after he was released from prison, police said.
Daniel St. Hubert, 27, stabbed and killed Prince Joshua "P.J." Avitto, 6, and critically injured Mikayla Capers, 7, in an East New York elevator Sunday evening as the children were headed to get ice cream, police said.
He allegedly told the kids to "shut up" before stabbing them, the NYPD said.
The fatal stabbing took place just days after St. Hubert was released following a five year-stint behind bars for using an electrical cord to choke his mother unconscious in her home at 145th Street and 133rd Avenue in 2009, court records show. He was picked up just after 8 p.m. Wednesday night not far from his mother's home, according to the NYPD.
Investigators were able to identify St. Hubert as the killer because they found his DNA on the Dura Edge knife he ditched after stabbing the children, sources told DNAinfo New York.
"Thank you NYPD, thank you! God is good," P.J.'s mother, Aricka McClinton, said Wednesday night outside her home at the Boulevard Houses, where the attack occurred.
"Prince said they were going to catch him. Last night, my angel came to me and said, hold on mommy, they're going to get him, just hold on."
Police are also working on the theory that St. Hubert is responsible for a fatal May 30 knife attack on 18-year-old nursing student Tanaya Copeland, near the Boulevard Houses. Copeland's family said Wednesday morning that they were praying for her killer's arrest.
St. Hubert has nine prior arrests, including the 2009 attack on his mother, another for punching a female correction officer in the face outside Queens Supreme Courthouse in 2010, and a separate assault on a police officer, according to prosecutors and police.
"Mom, I'm going to kill you!" St. Hubert shouted at his mother as he wrapped an electrical cord around her neck and repeatedly punched her in the face until she lost consciousness in her home the afternoon of May 25, 2009, according to his criminal complaint. His mother awoke the next morning to discover that he had stolen her 2002 Toyota Corolla, prosecutors said.
St. Hubert pleaded guilty to trying to kill his mother and for assaulting the officer, prosecutors said. He served his full five-year sentence at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, records show. He was denied an early release in September 2013, records show.
He was released on May 23 and was required to spend the next five years checking in with the parole board for post-release supervision, under the terms of his sentencing.