NEW ORLEANS — A 9-year-old girl was stabbed multiple times Thursday morning while trying to protect her mother.
Police arrived at 33-year-old Kimbreyelle Lucas' home in the Seventh Ward around 6 a.m. and found her and her 9-year-old daughter Nila Lucas, with multiple stab wounds.
Kimbreyelle Lucas later died at the hospital.
"Knowing that she died at the hands of someone else. I can't accept that," her cousin Daveal Hughes said Friday.
Hughes said this tragedy likely happened because of a friend's jealous boyfriend.
Early Thursday morning, Hughes said 35-year-old Steven Grant went into Lucas' home through a back window, past the girl's room and confronted Lucas about looking for men with his girlfriend.
Grant then stabbed Lucas, 9-year-old Nila stabbed him, and he stabbed the child back before running off.
"I'm mad, I'm upset. He took something from us," Hughes said.
Neighbors said the little girl walked down the street bleeding and looking for help and collapsed on Claiborne.
"She has a major gash in her face," Hughes said of the young girl's injuries.
The family says she has 12 surgeries to go, but the child is strong.
"When we talk to her she was still happy," Hughes said.
Police now have Grant in custody.
Hughes told Eyewitness News that the police informed the family that Grant, who showed up at the hospital Thursday morning with multiple stab wounds, was on probation for shooting his girlfriend three years ago and has multiple warrants.
"They said to our family that he's extremely dangerous. I know he done something of this caliber before and he was never stopped," she said.
Since Grant is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries, charges haven't been filed.
Through this tragedy, the community and Lucas' family are coming together for her five children.
The children's school, KIPP Leadership Primary, has helped tremendously. The school's principal, Jennie Seckle, made this statement:
"We are deeply saddened by the recent news of the tragedy involving our students and their mother. The family has been members of our school community for several years. They are amazing and bright students that light up our classrooms with their smiles. We are heartbroken and their family has our deepest sympathy, prayers and condolences. We have school counselors providing support to students and staff as they process this sad news. We are family and we will cope with this grief together as a school family."
Hughes said she's ready to take care of all five girls.
"I'm the perfect person to stand in the gap because they do need love," she said.
The family is now trying to put together funeral arrangements.