Community center named for boy fatally stabbed in elevator in East New York

EAST NEW YORK, Brooklyn (WABC) -- There was a special dedication in Brooklyn, where a community center was named for the 6-year-old boy who was stabbed to death in an elevator in East New York.

He went by P.J., but the center will officially be called the Prince Joshua Avitto Community Center.

A new safe haven for the dreams of countless youth in the heart of East New York, the center opened Thursday.

"We made a commitment that we was going to do something outstanding for this family, for these young victims, for this neighborhood and this community," said Andre T. Mitchell, Founder/Executive Director, Man-Up! Inc.

In loving memory of Prince Joshua, aka P.J., tragically murdered inside an elevator at the Boulevard Houses in 2014, his legacy will now live on through this multi-million dollar state of the art facility.

"There are some moments in this city that everybody feels," said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. "The notion that such a good sweet young man could be taken from us gripped all of us together in pain, in shock."

With the help of city funding, the center will be operated through a partnership between community organizations Man-Up! Inc. and Good Shepherd services, and it will offer a college size gym, computer lab, recording and dance studios, in addition to job training and other services.

"He was a sweet little boy, may he rest in peace, but I know today he's shining down on us," said Prince Joshua's mother Aricka McClinton.

Prince Joshua's loved ones believe the possibilities of the center are endless and they hope it will serve as a beacon and refuge for generations to come.

* More Brooklyn news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.