UNION TWP., Pa. (WKBN) – A neighborhood in Union Township is in shock following the brutal stabbing death of an 8-year-old boy.

Keith Burley, 43, is charged with stabbing Mark Mason, Jr. to death at a house on High Street.

Police say Burley got into a fight Monday night with the boy’s mother in New Castle, hit her, and took off in a car with her two children inside.

He drove to the house on High Street where police say he stabbed the boy in front of other children.

One of the kids ran out of the house to a neighbor and asked them to call 911.

“The little boy was like, ‘Man, they’re gettin’ stabbed! They’re getting stabbed! The man is over them stabbing them right now!'” said one neighbor, Jennifer.

Mark Mason, Jr.’s obituary

The stabbing happened in the kitchen, but when police got there, Burley was nowhere to be found. He was arrested several hours later in Youngstown after he was spotted walking down Market Street. That’s where U.S. Marshals took him into custody.

Burley is accused of repeatedly stabbing the boy. According to the children who saw it happen, he was saying “die” as he wielded a pink camo knife

“I just can’t believe someone would even harm a little boy like that,” said neighbor Dana Yerage.

Burley was released from jail in March after serving 20 years on a homicide charge – a fact neighbors can’t understand.

“If he’s already been convicted once of murder, why the hell did they let him out? It’s just not right,” said neighbor Nathan Glassel.

The three other children in the home at the time of the stabbing were not injured.

Burley is charged with homicide, kidnapping and assault, among other charges.