A 22-year-old man stabbed to death early Friday morning during an altercation outside a bar in Anaheim has been remembered by friends as a big-hearted individual with a promising future.
The fatal stabbing was reported in a bar parking lot in the 1700 block of South Euclid Avenue around 2:30 a.m., the Anaheim Police Department reported.
Cody Christopher Michael Stewart was stabbed at least once during a fight with another man, according to police. Loved ones of the victim have told KTLA he was trying to defend a friend.
Stewart’s friends drove him away from the scene and met police in the 1300 block of N. Anaheim Boulevard, where officers tried to render aid to the wounded man as they waited for paramedics.
He was then taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police have only described the stabbing suspect as a 22-year-old man from Anaheim. Authorities said they are not yet releasing the suspect’s name since witnesses are still being interviewed.
Stewart was a 2017 graduate of La Serna High School in Whittier, where played both football and baseball as a star athlete. Friends described him as kind-hearted and protective of his loved ones.
In fact, they say Stewart was actually trying to defend one of his friends when he was fatally stabbed — one friend described him as a “hero” who sacrificed his life for someone else.
“Cody always had a good spirit about him, he was smiles everywhere he went — just an all-around good guy, big heart,” another friend said.
Mark Iezza, who was friends with Stewart in high school, described him as “like an older brother.”
“He’s an amazing person. Yeah, lit up the room every time he walked in it,” Iezza said. “He loved everybody he talked to.”
Stewart was coaching baseball at Bassett High School in La Puente after attending college in Oregon on a scholarship, according to friends. He was also a member of Freedom Christian Center in Santa Fe Springs.
But the 22-year-old was also going through a special program to become an underwater welder — a decision inspired by the 2016 film “Deepwater Horizon” about the infamous oil spill, friends said.
“He had so much ahead of him. He was just too young for this to happen to him,” one friend said.
On Friday, La Serna High School’s football team tweeted about Stewart’s sudden death, expressing its “deepest sympathy & condolences” to his friends, family and teammates.
“We love you and will miss you #72,” the tweet read.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to raise money for Stewart’s memorial.
No other details about the killing were available Friday night. It remains unclear what led to the fight.
Anyone with information is urged to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.