BROOKLYN - The Latin Souls Baseball Organization's opening day parade Saturday in Canarsie was a somber occasion held in the wake of two stabbing deaths in the community.
The two young victims both would have taken part in the parade. Last week, 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland was stabbed to death. She was to perform with the Royal Knights Marching Band down Louisiana Avenue as part of the parade.
Days later, two children were stabbed inside an elevator a few blocks from where Copeland was killed. One of the children stabbed, PJ Avitto, succumbed to his wounds and died. He was supposed to be out on the field playing ball with his Latin Souls teammates.
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Many in attendance were still reeling from the recent bouts of violence. The mothers of the two victims made an appearance to briefly speak to the crowd.
Before the first pitch was thrown out, the crowd bowed their heads for a moment of silence for the two victims.