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A Californian eight-year-old boy was beaten to death by his mother's ex-boyfriend while he was trying to protect his younger sister from molestation.

Dante Daniels was attacked by Deandre Chaney Jr., 23, with a hammer on September 1st in South Sacremento, California. He never made it to his second day of third grade.

According to a criminal report, Chaney Jr. was engaged in the crime of committing a lewd act on Danae, Dante's seven-year-old sister.

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"Trying to save his sister from this child molester, and that's why he was beat the worst," said Dante's grandmother, Monique Brown, to KFVS 12.

The suspect also used a hammer and knife on Danae, as well as their mother, 28-year-old Elizabeth Salone, the MailOnline reported.

Dante Daniels, eight, was attacked by Deandre Chaney Jr., 23, with a hammer on September 1st in South Sacremento, California, while trying to protect his sister. Photo / GoFundMe / Police
Dante Daniels, eight, was attacked by Deandre Chaney Jr., 23, with a hammer on September 1st in South Sacremento, California, while trying to protect his sister. Photo / GoFundMe / Police

He is also said to have used lighter fluid.

Dante was declared brain dead following the attack and died six days later.

Both his sister and mother survived, but Brown has said that Monique won't be able to see out her left eye and Danae will need a lot of help.

And the grandmother believes her little one is a hero, even after death.

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

Along with murder and attempted murder charges, Chaney Jr. also faces a charge for lewd acts with a child under 14.

A Gofundme has been set up to raise money for the family.

How to get help

If you're in danger NOW:

• Phone the police on 111 or ask neighbours of friends to ring for you
• Run outside and head for where there are other people
• Scream for help so that your neighbours can hear you
• Take the children with you
• Don't stop to get anything else
• If you are being abused, remember it's not your fault. Violence is never okay

Where to go for help or more information:

• Women's Refuge: Free national crisisline operates 24/7 - 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 www.womensrefuge.org.nz
• Shine, free national helpline 9am- 11pm every day - 0508 744 633 www.2shine.org.nz
• It's Not Ok: Information line 0800 456 450 www.areyouok.org.nz
• Shakti: Providing specialist cultural services for African, Asian and Middle Eastern women and their children. Crisisline 24/7 0800 742 584
• Ministry of Justice: www.justice.govt.nz/family-justice/domestic-violence
• National Network of Stopping Violence: www.nnsvs.org.nz
• White Ribbon: Aiming to eliminate men's violence towards women, focusing this year on sexual violence and the issue of consent. www.whiteribbon.org.nz