Family member of mall stabbing victim speaks out as alleged murderer is held behind bars

PROVIDENCE, R.I (WLNE) – For the first time, we’re hearing from the family of the 19-year-old man stabbed to death inside the Providence Place Mall Thursday morning.

Nazzique Hernandez was stabbed after a fight broke out in the food court area of the mall. The 19-year-old from Providence died from his injuries.

Ricky “Riky” Hilario Cabral, 22, was arrested shortly after on the third-floor parking garage, according to Providence Police.

Cabral was charged with murder and was arraigned Friday morning in Providence District Court. He was held without bail as a probation violator at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI).

“I honestly still don’t even believe it’s real. Like, it hurts my heart even thinking about it,” said Jamourie Washington, Hernandez’s cousin. “My mom and my sister texted me last night when I was at work, and when I found out, I couldn’t even keep my head together at work. I was losing my place, I couldn’t even… It felt like I didn’t even know where I was at. My thoughts were running, like, really? Is this happening?”

Providence Police Detective Capt. Tim O’Hara told ABC6 outside of court that police are still investigating what the altercation started over, but said it was among two groups that knew each other.

“Right now we’re working on the exact cause of the disturbance but, yes, two groups of people encountered each other on the 3rd floor of the mall, a fight ensued and escalated where one person produced a knife and stabbed a 19-year-old and he succumbed to his injuries,” Capt. O’Hara said. “We know that the groups were familiar with each other. I don’t know if each individual specifically knew each other.”

Washington said his cousin’s mother passed away a few years ago, and it seemed he had been heading down the wrong path in life.

“He was always happy, you know? He was always energetic, wanting to do things. Ever since that happened you could tell he’s just been really different and he’s been to himself a lot more and I’m pretty sure that’s what drove him more towards the gang-related stuff and all that.”

But, Washington said, his cousin didn’t deserve to die like this.

“It’s just, it’s tragic. It hurts honestly because now we don’t have that person, our cousin, our family in our lives anymore so we can’t build on our future bond with him at all. He was still young. He’s younger than me, he’s only 19. He still had a whole life ahead of him and now he won’t even have that anymore.”

Providence Police are still investigating whether or not the stabbing was gang-related. Three others were arrested on the scene, but were later released. Police said more charges could come.

© WLNE-TV 2020

Categories: News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island