Chicago grieves 11-year-old killed trying to ‘protect his mother’ during domestic violence incident

Written by on March 21, 2024

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(CHICAGO) — Chicago officials and community members are grieving the loss of 11-year-old Jayden Perkins who police say was fatally stabbed while trying “to protect his mother” in a domestic violence incident.

Crosetti Brand, who Perkins’ mother has an order of protection against, allegedly broke into their home and stabbed both Perkins and his mother on March 13, police said. The boy’s mother, identified at a fundraiser for the family as Laterria Smith, was critically injured in the attack. Her 5-year-old son was also in the home at the time.

Brand was out on parole while still serving a 16-year sentence for a home invasion and currently has three orders of protection violations against him, according to police.

Brand has been charged with murder, attempted murder, home invasion with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, domestic battery, and more in connection with the incident.

ABC News could not immediately reach an attorney for Brand.

“An 11-year-old boy lost his life brutally. A woman, stabbed brutally in a domestic attack. Where is the outrage for this family?” said Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling at a press conference. “Let’s focus on the victims.”

“An innocent child’s life was taken to try to protect his mother, far too soon, and a mother was attacked in what should have been the safest place for her, which was her home,” said the Cook County state attorney Kimberly M. Foxx.

Perkins was called “an exceptional young man, respected by his peers and admired by his teachers,” according to a fundraiser hosted by the Peirce Elementary School community and his dance school, Gus Giordano Dance School.

The boy was known for his love of dance and performance, playing lead roles in several school plays, according to the post.

In a separate post, Gus Giordano Dance School shared videos of Perkins dancing, and said he “gave joy, happiness & light to everyone.

Perkins loved “spending time with friends, playing sports, and performing. His infectious laughter and kind heart touched the lives of everyone he met,” the fundraiser post read. Vigils were held at the family’s apartment complex in his honor.

Smith is said to have worked at Perkin’s school, and had “made a lasting impact on the lives of students, supporting them in their daily activities and fostering a sense of belonging.”

The incident has highlighted how to improve the handling of domestic violence cases in the city. Officials say Brand had a history of domestic violence.

“We have to protect these victims,” said Snilling. “We cannot wait until the tragedy happens to decide we’re going to do something about it.”

Alderperson Andre Vasquez said he and other officials need to look into “what more can be done to support victims, survivors of domestic violence,” at a Friday press conference.

“This is something that we know if we don’t get ahead of domestic violence issues everywhere, there may be other cases,” he continued.

Foxx said the crime “shocked our city to its core.”

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