The ex-con arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 6-year-old boy and the wounding of his 7-year-old playmate in Brooklyn was charged last night with murder, attempted murder, criminal possession of a weapon and other charges, officials said.
Daniel St. Hubert, 27, who was released from prison on May 23, was charged with killing Prince Joshua Avitto and severely wounding Mikayla Capers as they rode in an elevator at Boulevard Houses Sunday on their way to get ice cream in Bedford-Stuyvesant, authorities said.
The charges followed a day of fast-moving developments, including the possibility that St. Hubert stabbed a 53-year-old man on a Chelsea subway platform early Wednesday and scrawled a bizarre message on a stop sign before his arrest, police sources said.
NYPD investigators arrested St. Hubert Wednesday night, less than 30 minutes after a news conference at which Police Commissioner William Bratton named him the prime suspect in the Sunday stabbings and Mayor Bill de Blasio urged anyone with information to come forward. Investigators used DNA, telephone technology and surveillance videos to track him down.
Sources Thursday repeated earlier comments that the NYPD is looking at St. Hubert as a possible suspect in the May 30 fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland of Brooklyn.
And St. Hubert is suspected of scrawling "$$KillZZ I Will" on a stop sign and then signing it with a smiley face minutes before his arrest in South Ozone Park, Queens, a law enforcement official said yesterday.
Officials didn't know what the stop sign graffiti may have meant.
St. Hubert also allegedly scrawled the initials "BK" next to the smiley face, sources said.
St. Hubert -- released last month after serving 5 years for attempted murder of his mother -- may have also stabbed the 53-year-old man at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday as he waited for a train at a subway station at West 18th Street and Seventh Avenue.
The wounded man was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was listed Thursday in stable condition, police said.
St. Hubert's arrest and his criminal history have raised questions among some officials, including de Blasio, about the suspect's mental state.
"Not knowing all the facts yet . . . this is someone who probably had very severe mental health problems and I don't know why those were not caught . . . earlier," de Blasio told reporters Thursday.
Law enforcement officials also revealed Thursday that St. Hubert had been given a summons at about 1:33 a.m. Wednesday in Brooklyn for public urination, but because it was some 12 hours before DNA testing identified him, the police officer who cited him didn't know he was the prime suspect, one official said.
A law enforcement official who didn't want to be named said St. Hubert was first identified from DNA obtained off the knife used in the attack on the children. Investigators zeroed in on his cellphone that at one point showed he was in the vicinity of 145th Street and 133rd Avenue in Queens, the official said.
Detectives visited a deli by the location of the cellphone ping and found a video image of St. Hubert made when he visited the store, the official said.
With Matthew Chayes