Point Breeze stabbing victim, 14, dies

Posted: February 19, 2014

A BOY allegedly stabbed by a girl last week in Point Breeze died Sunday.

Azim Chaplin, 14, after clinging to life for five days at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, died just before 2 a.m., said Officer Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman.

Chaplin was stabbed once in the chest by Amber Hellesten, 15, on Watkins Street near 21st late Feb. 11, police said. Hellesten, who lives around the corner from Chaplin's house, was arrested that night and will be tried as an adult, with her charge of attempted murder likely to be elevated to murder, Little said.

The District Attorney's Office was closed yesterday for Presidents Day, but spokeswoman Tasha Jamerson said that a medical examiner would have to rule on a cause of death before charges would be determined.

Exactly what sparked the stabbing remained unclear yesterday, but a police source said that a witness told investigators that a group of girls including Hellesten had been arguing with Chaplin and other neighborhood kids that night.

Hellesten - who has prior arrests for assault, according to the source - eventually pulled out a black-handled pocket knife and stabbed Chaplin once in the chest, the source said. The blade punctured his heart and left him in critical condition.

Last night, a man who identified himself as Calvin answered the door at Chaplin's home on 18th Street near Sigel. He referred all questions to the boy's mother, whom the Daily News was unable to reach last night.

Not far from the Chaplin house, on the block of Sigel Street where Hellesten lives, a group of teens said they knew Azim. He preferred to be called "Zeem" and "never got into any trouble," one teen said.

Back on 18th Street, a neighbor who lives two doors from the Chaplins didn't recognize the family's name.

"I've lived here three years," the woman said. "I really don't know any of my neighbors."


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