8-year-old Virginia boy killed while defending sister from rapist

Martin "Marty" Cobb
Martin "Marty" Cobb

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR/CNN) – Warrants have been obtained for a Richmond teenager in the death of eight-year-old Martin “Marty” Cobb. The teenager has been located and is being “medically evaluated,” according to Richmond Police.

Originally police were told the person who assaulted Marty and his 12-year-old sister was an “adult white male with scraggly facial hair.”

But during the course of the police investigation, that description changed to a teenage black male.

Police said the surviving victim was “threatened and intimidated by the suspect” into initially giving inaccurate information.

The aunt of the children told CBS 6 Reporter Jon Burkett that Thursday afternoon the children were playing on the railroad tracks near the 200 block of Brandon Road in South Richmond.

While the children played, the aunt said a person approached and attempted to rape the 12-year-old girl.

Marty was beaten when he attempted to intervene, she said. The eight-year-old boy died as a result of the beating.

Police continue to investigate and have not yet spoken publicly about the circumstances that led to the child’s death.

Richmond Public Schools confirmed Marty attended Redd Elementary School and said that crisis counselors were on hand Friday.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our Redd Elementary School students, and extend our thoughts and prayers to the victim’s family and friends,” an RPS spokesperson wrote. “Our top priority is ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Crisis counselors are currently in place and will continue to be made available to support our Redd Elementary School family and community during this difficult time.”

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