8-year-old boy dies defending sister from sexual assault, hundreds gather at vigil

By Kyle Johnson,

An 8-year-old Richmond, Virginia boy who died on Thursday trying to protect his older sister from sexual assault was honored at a vigil on Saturday night.

People gathered around a South Richmond church in vigil for Martin Cobb who died a couple days ago as he tried to keep a 16-year-old male from assaulting his 12-year-old sister, reports Richmond Times-Dispatch.

"Martin: A real hero lived, fought and died here," a sign in Cobb's yard said.

The teen, who hasn't been named because he's a minor, has been arrested and charged with Cobb's murder. He also faces a charge for attempted strangulation of Cobb's sister. She managed to survive the attack and was sent to the hospital.

A neighbor, Andrew Patillo, said of Cobb: "He had a heart of a lion. He stood so tall, to be so small."

According to the WTVR, Cobb and his sister were playing together when the 16-year-old approached and attempted to rape the young girl. Cobb did his best to try to intervene and protect his sister, but was savagely beaten.



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