A Virginia teen has been arrested after sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and killing her 8-year-old brother who tried to stop the assailant.
Police say a 16-year-old male has been charged with murder and strangulation. His name has been withheld because of his age.
According to reports, the 12-year-old girl and her 8-year-old brother, Martin Cobb, were playing in the family’s backyard when a 16-year-old male emerged from the woods and tried to sexually assault the girl. When Martin tried to stop him, the attacker hit him in the head with a brick, killing him almost immediately.
Neighbors alerted the police after they saw the 12-year-old girl run out of the woods naked and covered in blood. She was taken to the hospital and treated for her injuries.
A South Richmond church held a vigil for Martin on Saturday. Andrew Patillo, a neighbor, says “he had the heart of a lion. He stood so tall, to be so small.”
Ebony Hollenquest, the boy’s cousin, said “I’m going to remember him as a soldier. He died a soldier.”
The attendees have also started a petition to have Martin recognized by the White House. The petition reads “He thought only of his sister’s well-being and reacted in the only way he could, attempting to save her from harm. Please recognize his courage and let it be an example to others for hour heroes come in all sizes.”
The boy’s aunt, Geraldine Pitchford, said “I’m proud of him. I’m proud that he stuck up for his sister. He did what he was taught.”