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Suspect Named in Harlem Stabbing Death Witnessed by Two Children

By Jeff Mays | October 29, 2010 10:53am | Updated on October 29, 2010 3:25pm

By Jeff Mays

DNAInfo Reporter/Producer

HARLEM — Police are looking for a man wanted in the fatal stabbing of Donovan Russell on a Sugar Hill street last week while his young relatives looked on.

Rohan Hutchinson is accused of stabbing Russell in the back at about 10:45 p.m. on Oct. 21 at 2 St. Nicholas Place.

Russell, 36, of the Bronx, was outside of the building talking with his sister when the girl, whose name DNAInfo is withholding, saw someone running at her uncle from behind with a knife as she watched from her perch on the fire escape.

"I yelled, 'Uncle, watch your back,'" the 10-year-old girl told DNAinfo last week. "The attacker had a knife and he tried to run."

The girl said the assailant stabbed her uncle and then chased him down a set of stairs, where he may have been stabbed again. An 8-year-old male cousin was also on the fire escape at the time.

"I was screaming and screaming," said the girl, who then ran downstairs in her pajamas and slippers to see her uncle laying wounded with blood on his shirt.

Russell's sister, Andrea Johnson, said she was outside with her brother when a woman tried to attack her with a knife at about the same time the perpetrator came at Russell.

"He said, 'Andrea, watch out!'" Johnson said of her brother.

She was able to avoid the attack but Russell wasn't as lucky.

"He called my name four or five times and he said: 'Andrea, I'm dead,'" Johnson said last week as tears streamed down her face.

Russell was taken to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Family described Russell as a loving man who did odd construction and plumbing jobs to earn money. They said he came from Jamaica three years ago with the goal of getting a better job to make a better life for his family.

Police describe Hutchinson as a black man who is 5 foot 5 inches and weighs 125 pounds. Police are asking anyone with information to contact the 30th precinct detective squad at (212) 690-8842.