"This is terrible. I would have expected this from somebody else, but not from Chris," Miriam Soto said.
The 35-year old is charged with the murder of his girlfriend's daughter, Emonee Williams.
Investigators say the teen stumbled into an argument between her mother and Ezell just before midnight.
Authorities say Ezell flew into a fit of rage because the mother would not let him move back into the apartment inside the Melrose Houses on East 153rd Street.
Her mother stormed out, according to police, then he kicked out Emonee's aunt, and that's when he stabbed the teenager over and over again.
"That was his daughter. He raised her since she was a little. So it's like real shocking news right now," Jasmine Soto said.
There were other young children living in the home as well, at least one believed to be fathered by Ezell, but they were unharmed. Neighbors say the 9-year-old younger sister and twin brothers were half-siblings, and that she may have been murdered in front of them.
The teen was rushed to Lincoln Hospital, but doctors there were unable to save her and she was pronounced dead.
Police then went looking for Ezell, who had apparently fled the apartment. Authorities found him a few blocks away on Third Avenue and took him into custody.
Some neighbors learned of Emonee's death as they walked into Melrose Houses to find a tribute to the teen at the front door with candles and teddy bears.
"What could possess you to do that to a little girl. Ain't nothing could be that wrong. Especially when she talked to him like a father," Soto said.
"She was a nice girl," friend Candace Scott said. "She was real calm. She wasn't into a lot of friends...she was a good child. She don't chill with nobody. She go to school, come home, and that's it."
"He didn't have no hard times with anybody," neighbor Malika Stephenson said of the suspect. "He was like everybody else, come out here and hang out with us, and play with the kids, play with his kids, play with everybody else's kids."
"It's killing me right now. You killed this little girl for no reason. She didn't even have a life," Constance said.
But Emonee's best friend couldn't talk out her grief, she just wrote a letter that reads. "I love her. I love you Emonee. BFF's forever."
Ezell is charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
Authorities say Ezell has several prior arrests, including for robbery, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a controlled substance.
Ezell was arraigned at Bronx criminal court and denied bail. His next court appearance is May 26th.