SPRINGFIELD GARDENS, QUEENS, NY (PIX11)—Detectives try to figure out why a mother would try to kill her eight-year-old daughter, as the girl fights for her life in a Queens hospital.
"Right now, I'm so, like in shock," said Aliyah Grannum, the aunt of Brianna Davis, hours after learning that Brianna's mother and Grannum's sister, Ann Carimbocas Davis, stabbed the girl in the head, back and in one of her shoulders just before 10:30 Tuesday morning.
"They brought the mother out, she looked so emotionless," neighbor Lindsay Fortune told PIX11 News. He was an eyewitness to the scene immediately after the stabbing.
"One of the EMTs came out and said, 'Hurry up, it's a baby," Fortune said in describing the scene when medics rushed the girl out of the rear apartment of the duplex home at 144-67 176th Street on a stretcher. "There was blood on the sheets, she was incoherent, arms just wobbly like noodles."
Another eyewitness, neighbor Hyacinth Coombs, is also an emergency room technician, and based on her medical experience, the outlook was not positive. "If she's going to make it," Coombs told PIX11 News, "I don't know."
However, by midafternoon, the girl whose mother stabbed her twice in the head and twice in her upper body improved, going from what Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described as "not likely to survive" to critical but stable condition.
Clearly, she still has a long way to go, but her relatives and people who saw her transported from the scene are praying in the midst of their shock.
"I don't understand how much rage you can have in your mind and body to do that to your own child," Fortune said.
Police also said that the son of the woman Brianna and her mother was visiting, Colleen George, was instrumental in subduing the mother and keeping her from doing further harm until medics and police could arrive. They did not identify Colleen George's son other than to say that he is in his twenties.
He is one of two reasons the near-fatal attack did not turn fatal, according to investigators. The other reason, according to Brianna Davis's family, is her strength and will to live.
Family members also told PIX11 News that Ann Carimbocas Davis has a history of mental illness, and was hospitalized three years ago on Long Island for treatment of a mental condition.
Police also said that Davis was incoherent when detectives tried to interview her at the 105th precinct, which was handling the stabbing investigation. Sources close to the investigation told PIX11 News that Davis tried use a pen to attack a police employee at the precinct. Medics had to transport her out of the precinct, strapped to a stretcher, screaming, to a mental health facility for further evaluation.