Man beheads five-year-old sister

A man fatally stabbed his 17-year-old sister, decapitated his five-year-old sister in front of a police officer and then turned toward his nine-year-old sister with a knife in his hand before officers shot him dead in what their chief described as "a killing field".

There was no clear motive for the events that unfolded on Saturday, the day after the five-year-old’s birthday, in Boston, USA. But there was no doubt about the carnage wrought by 23-year-old Kerby Revelus against his sisters in the two-family home they shared with their parents and grandmother.

Five-year-old Bianca was killed as a cake for her birthday, which investigators believe was Friday, sat on the kitchen table. Nine-year-old Sarafina dialed 911 and watched police shoot her brother as her elder sister, 17-year-old Samantha, lay dead on the floor.

Sarafina was hospitalised Sunday with defensive wounds to her hands and stab wounds in her abdomen and one of her legs, police said.

"In policing, we see the raw human emotion every day, but to think that a human being could afflict such an atrocious, violent act on his own family is unbelievable," Milton police Chief Richard G. Wells Jr. said. "When I walked up to the first officer (on the scene), I could see the whole story right in his face. This just told me that this was something very bad."

Saturday’s attack came about 24 hours after Revelus had gotten into a fistfight with a man living next door, Wells said.

"Blows were exchanged," he said. "I don’t know the cause of it, but we’re confident that did happen. He had been agitated in the hours that followed that, going into the day and last night."

Investigators believe Revelus targeted Samantha, a senior at Milton High School, and fatally stabbed her with a household knife while their grandmother, who neighbors say lives on the first floor, was doing laundry in the basement. The children’s parents were away; their mother, identified by friends as Regine Revelus, is a nurse at a Boston hospital, Wells said.

Sarafina, a student at the Tucker Elementary School, just behind the house, called 911 around 5 p.m. An officer on patrol in the neighborhood arrived within a minute, Wells said, and could hear an altercation inside as he reached the second floor. The 911 operator tried to persuade Sarafina to open the door, but when she didn’t the officer broke through.

"As the officer entered the door, (Revelus) decapitated (Bianca) in front of him," Wells said. "He actually walked into a killing field. He walked into such carnage, as far as the atrocity of it, I’ve never seen it."

Within moments, four officers were inside and two of them shot Revelus as he tried to get to Sarafina, Wells said. Revelus fell, still clutching the knife.

Details about the number of shots and who killed Revelus were pending the outcome of an autopsy on Sunday.

Revelus had recently served jail time on a gun charge, Wells said, but the details would not be released until courts opened Monday. Neighbors said Revelus was in a car that was pulled over by police and from which one occupant threw a gun into a sewer.

Police had been called to the family’s house in 2004 after a domestic violence report that Revelus had punched a woman living there, Wells said.

A neighbor, Norm Walsh, said his daughter Kate Walsh, a Hollis, N.H., police officer, reported hearing two shots as she went outside to bring in groceries from the family car. Moments later, a blood-covered officer emerged carrying Sarafina, seeking towels to stanch her bleeding.

"It’s shocking to me," said Norm Walsh, whose son is the same age as Revelus. "He played a lot of pickup hoop in the driveway."

Walsh said the family members had lived in the neighborhood for more than 20 years and were warm. They were of Haitian descent, as are many residents in the neighborhood, where Creole is spoken alongside English.

"The family is a solid family. Both parents worked; good kids. Completely makes no sense," Walsh said.

Samantha’s classmates referred to her by her nickname, Princess, and remarked at her grace, class and friendliness. She had been one of about 20 students who had been at the high school Saturday afternoon to rehearse for a poetry jam on Thursday. Saturday morning, Samantha also had practiced for a school fashion show.

"She had a stage presence like you couldn’t believe," classmate Kassi Stein said.

Sobbing, she added: "She had just a soft voice and everyone would lean in to hear what she was saying."

In one of the poems Samantha was to recite, "Acquaintance," she wrote of the strength of women in the face of "ignorant souls."

The poem closed, "So what lousy wind brought you here? What values you offer? She’s a woman, a queen, a goddess. Don’t treat her like any other."

A two-hour grief counseling session was held at the school Sunday afternoon and will be offered Monday to students and employees.

The officers involved in the case were placed on administrative leave and were receiving counseling from the Boston Police Department.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Jordan Rossiter celebrates with team mates after scoring the opening goal during the match between Liverpool and Middlesbrough at Anfield
football

Liverpool progress to the last 16 of the Capital One Cup

News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
books
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Account Executive/Sales Consultant – Permanent – Hertfordshire - £16-£20k

£16500 - £20000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Systems Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world