The family of Michael Jones, the 25-year-old youth soccer coach who was fatally stabbed early Sunday morning near Union Square, says they found out about Jones' death after someone alerted him on Facebook. "I contacted the police and I was totally shocked, I was expecting to hear he had been injured in an accident," Jones' father, Perry told the BBC. Jones moved to New York from the village of Tarleton in Lancashire, England, to coach with the Red Bulls Youth Training Program in 2008, and lived here around 10 months a year. "He loved New York and he loved the lifestyle and was working hoping to get a visa so he could stay there full time…We just cannot believe it."
Police sources told the Daily News and the Post that surveillance footage shows Jones arguing with his assailant when the suspect suddenly stabs him. Jones then "charged the assailant, lowering his shoulder like a linebacker and slamming him into a building," but the suspect apparently turned him around again and stabbed Jones repeatedly, leaving him to die on the sidewalk before calming walking away, placing the knife in his coat pocket.
Earlier in the evening, Jones had been at a housewarming party with his girlfriend in the East Village, but left at approximately midnight to meet friends in the Meatpacking District. “He didn’t seem too drunk,” one of the party's hosts told the Post. Jones's wallet and phone were found on him after authorities responded to a 911 call at around 4:30 a.m. “There are no suspects, no person of interest,” a police source said. A video of the man police believe to be Jones' assailant can be seen here.
“I’m just trying to get my head around the whole incident," Jones' friend, Karl Hogan, said. Hogan lived with Jones in Westchester. “I coach with him. We run programs together. He’s a great guy. An honest guy, very passionate about his job. He always thought about the kids (and) never’d get into any trouble."