NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hundreds of people crowded into a church in Brooklyn to say goodbye to a little boy stabbed to death inside an elevator in Brooklyn.
The line of family, friends and others stretched around the block Friday for the wake and funeral of 6-year-old Prince Joshua “P.J.” Avitto at St. Paul’s Baptist Church in East New York.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, P.J.’s father, Nicholas Avitto, was overcome with sadness as the tiny white casket was carried into the church.
“With the grace of God, I’m holding up,” he said. “I’m holding up.”
Pallbearers carried the casket followed by a Spider-Man floral arrangement, one of P.J.’s favorite superheroes.
“We’ve come today to celebrate P.J.’s life,” the Rev. David Brawley said. “But we must acknowledge that his life was ended way too soon.”
Also on the altar was a Superman-themed bouquet, an ode to the 6-year-old’s “Superman” nickname.
“It’s very hard for me to say how very sad I am today,” Nicholas Avitto said. “Our greatest joy and pleasure was my son.”