Friends remember ‘kind-hearted’ teenager killed in St Albans stabbing

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Tributes are flowing for the 14-year-old who died after he was hit by a car and stabbed while walking home in St Albans on Monday night.

Ethan Hoac, who loved gaming and basketball, has been remembered as the joker of his large group of friends.

A memorial has been created at the site where Ethan Hoac was stabbed late on Monday night.Credit: Simon Schluter

His friend Jolie Nguyen said the group had come together on Wednesday – at the spot in Melbourne’s north-west where he was killed – to spend a final moment with their friend.

“All of us were crying, sending prayers and just sitting on the grass with Ethan,” she said.

“We were all just having a moment with him.”

Ethan was in year 9 at Braybrook College. He was walking home with two friends, reportedly from a different school, on the night he was killed.

Ethan Hoac was killed when walking home from the train station with friends on Monday night.Credit: Simon Schluter

Police allege the three teenagers were first approached by a group in a light-coloured SUV, before the driver of the vehicle turned and struck Ethan with the car and then two men wielding knives and wearing face coverings then got out and started assaulting and stabbing him.

While there is no information to suggest the attack was gang related, police said it was a “targeted” assault. Investigators were still searching for a small to medium light-coloured SUV on Thursday.

Jolie, 15, who also attended Braybrook College, met Ethan at the school. They briefly dated, but broke up about six months ago, remaining close friends.

She said Ethan’s violent death had come as a shock to his friends, who had been hit “pretty hard” by the tragedy.

“Ethan was not the kid that would get into trouble. He was not that type of person,” she said.

“He was a kind-hearted, funny and goofy person. He was always so generous, paying for everyone’s food.”

Jolie said Ethan had been a good boyfriend and friend to everyone.

“When he was at his lowest he always put me first, and all his friends, regardless of the situation,” she said.

“He was a gamer. He always used to play Fortnite. He loved to play basketball as well. Yeah, he was a big sports fan,” she said.

Ethan was reportedly living with his grandmother and younger brother – who is in the year below at Braybrook – at the time of the incident.

Ethan’s half-sister, Chelsea Huynh, said her brother was “very funny” and generous.

“He would always cook for us when we were hungry,” she said.

“He was genuinely a kind and caring soul to everyone.”

Ethan’s death has come as knife violence has surged in Victoria in recent years. Police have confirmed there had already been 10 knife-related homicide investigations in the state this year.

The 14-year-old’s friends, who were uninjured in the attack, are helping police with their investigations.

Police are appealing for anyone with CCTV footage that could help with the investigation to come forward.

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