Vigil held for boy, 8, who reportedly died protecting sister

Family and friends gathered in Richmond, Va. Saturday night to hold a vigil for an 8-year-old boy whose family says died defending his sister.

"It just hurts. I've been hurting for the last couple of days since it happened. My heart goes out to the family." (Via WWBT)

Eight-year-old Martin Cobb's aunt told WTVR he was playing on the railroad tracks with his sister when a suspected teenaged assailant came up and tried to rape the 12-year-old girl. The aunt says Martin was beaten to death when he tried to protect his sister.

Martin was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene. His sister was taken to the hospital for treatment of what at least one outlet reports were non life-threatening injuries. His mother spoke with WRIC

"He tried to protect his sister, and he got killed. ... My baby. My only boy."

The station adds police arrested a 16-year-old suspect just hours after the crime happened Thursday. Police have not released his name because he's a minor, but have charged him with both murder and strangulation.

According to police, Martin died of severe head trauma, but they have not released much more information besides that. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports hundreds of people gathered for the vigil in Martin's honor Saturday.

According to WWBT, funeral arrangements for Martin are still being made.

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