An 8-year-old California boy was beaten to death with a hammer after he tried to step in to protect his younger sister from being molested.

On September 1, Dante Daniels stepped in when he saw his mother’s ex-boyfriend, 23-year-old Deandre Chaney Jr. committing a lewd act against Dante’s little sister, Danae, who is 7 years old.

“Trying to save his sister from this child molester, and that’s why he was beat the worst,” said Dante’s grandmother, Monique Brown.

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According to officials, Chaney not only used a hammer to beat Dante but also turned a hammer and knife on Danae and 28-year-old Elizabeth Salone, the mother of the two children. He also allegedly used lighter fluid against them.

Dante was declared brain dead after the attack and died six days later, though both Danae and Salone survived the attack. But Brown said that her daughter and granddaughter would have to live with the lasting effects of the attack. She said that Salone might never be able to see out of her left eye and that Danae would need help to recover from the ordeal.

Even in death, Brown said that Dante continued to be a hero as an organ donor.

“Dante gave his heart to a 4-year-old In Southern California, so a 4-year-old lives because of [him],” Brown said.

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