An 8-year-old boy from Sacramento has tragically died after being beaten with a hammer while trying to protect his 7-year-old sister from his mother's ex-boyfriend, a child-molester.
According to Fox News, a criminal complaint states that 23-year-old Deandre Chaney Jr. attacked 8-year-old Dante Daniels using lighter fluid and a hammer after Dante walked in on the suspect performing a sexual act on his 7-year-old sister. The attack occurred in the early morning hours of September 1. Dante's sister was also injured in the ordeal and will likely not see out of her left eye again.
At one point during the altercation, Chaney threatened the girl and her mother, 27-year-old Elizabeth Salone, with a knife and hammer. According to their GoFundMe page, Elizabeth and her 7-year-old daughter were also beaten and left for dead. Daniels did not die immediately at the scene; he was taken to a hospital where he died six days later.
Many are hailing Dante as a hero. ABC 7 reports that the 8-year-old had just started third grade, but the young boy only made it to his first day of school. The child's grandmother, Monique Brown, explains the tragic situation that left her beloved grandson dead.
"Trying to save his sister from this child molester. And that's why he was beat the worst," she told reporters.
She went on to say that Dante was beaten with the hammer all the way down to his spine and that doctors couldn't save his brain. According to his grandmother, being violent wasn't in Dante's nature, which makes this story even tougher to swallow.
Dante Daniels was beaten with a hammer "down to his spine. He was "protecting his sister from his mother's child-molester ex-boyfriend. This man was a two-strike felon and sex offender and should have never been around these children. Now Dante's life has been cut incredibly short. #rip #sad
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"He was a lot sensitive. He didn't play with kids who were rough. He played baseball," Monique said.
If there is any sort of silver lining in this tragic story, it may be the fact that Dante's heart was used to save a life. Because of him, a 4-year-old girl in Southern California could live. The family's GoFundMe page has already received an outpouring of love and support following this terrible ordeal.
In just 23 days, over $88,000 has been raised to help the family with medical expenses. They have already surpassed their initial goal of $75,000. In a recent update on the page, the family thanked the public for their generous donations while saying that Elizabeth and her daughter are healing well physically but emotionally, but they have a long way to go. In the coming days, young Dante will be laid to rest.
Chaney has been arraigned on murder charges, attempted murder, and charges of engaging in lewd acts with a child under the age of 14-years-old.
[Featured Image by Sacramento Police Department/Sacramento Police]