11-Year-Old Stabbed To Death Protecting Pregnant Mom From Ex: Police

An 11-year-old Chicago boy died in his home on Wednesday while protecting his pregnant mother from her ex-boyfriend, who had been released from prison the day prior, Chicago Police announced.

Crosetti Brand, 37, was arrested hours after the incident on several charges, including murder, in connection to the fatal stabbing of the 11-year-old and the attempted murder of his mother, who survived the attack but was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The victims were identified as Jayden Perkins and his mother, 33-year-old Laterria Smith, in a fundraiser launched by the community and loved ones to help support the surviving family as they navigate through this “difficult time.”

Jayden Perkins, 11-year-old fatally stabbed via Helen C. Peirce School Of International Studies
Jayden Perkins, 11-year-old fatally stabbed via Helen C. Peirce School Of International Studies

Helen C. Peirce School Of International Studies

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said Brand was serving a 16-year sentence for a home invasion in which he injured someone, but was paroled the day before the attack.

Chicago Police Chief Detective Antoinette Ursitti said at the conference that Smith had been in a relationship with Brand more than 15 years ago and that he was released on his first parole in October of last year.

Brand was sent back to prison in February after he violated Smith’s order of protection against him by threatening her in text messages and showing up at her home, Ursitti said.

He was released on parole again on March 12. A day later, he allegedly forced his way into Smith’s home as she was leaving to take her kids to school, Ursitti said. While inside, Brand allegedly killed Perkins and stabbed his mother multiple times.

“An innocent child’s life was taken, as he tried to protect his mother, far too soon,” Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said at the press conference. “And a mother was attacked in what should have been the safest place for her.”

Perkins’ 5-year-old brother was also present at the home at the time of the incident but wasn’t hurt, Ursitti said.

Ursitti said surveillance footage showed Brand leaving the area with the knife he allegedly used in the stabbings.

Neighbors who spoke to local news station WGN 9, said that Smith is 8 months pregnant and was living in her apartment with her fiancé and two kids.

The fundraiser described Jayden as as an “exceptional young man” who was known “for his leadership qualities and compassionate nature.”

“He was always willing to lend a helping hand and had a knack for resolving conflicts among his friends,” the fundraiser stated. “His positive energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and he will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.”

Lori Zaimi, principal of the Helen C. Peirce School Of International Studies, where Jayden was a student, said the “school community is in complete shock” in a statement shared with HuffPost.

“Jayden wasn’t just an exceptional student at Peirce, he was a valued member of the school community,” she said.

His dance studio, the Gus Giordano Dance School, honored the 11-year-old with a video highlighting his dancing.

“We are incredibly blessed” to have been a part of Jayden’s life, the post said.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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