A 23-year-old man is dead and another young man has been arrested after a family fight in Auburn turned deadly for a neighbor who tried to intervene.

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A 23-year-old man was stabbed to death early Tuesday when he tried to intervene in a fight between a man and a woman in Auburn, according to police.

Auburn police said a couple — a 28-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman — were hosting a barbecue at their house in the 900 block of Sixth Street Southeast on Monday evening. Among the guests were the woman’s 24-year-old cousin and other relatives.

At around midnight, the couple hosting the party began to argue.

The disagreement escalated, became physical and eventually spilled onto the street, according to Auburn police Cmdr. Mike Hirman.

Joshua Morrison, who lives across the street from the arguing couple, also had a few friends over, according to his sister, who did not want to be named.

When Morrison and two of his guests, including the victim, saw what was happening outside, they ran to help, Hirman said.

“While the victim is trying to separate the couple, the cousin comes out and goes up to the victim,” Hirman said. “Nobody sees what happens, but the victim gets stabbed in the chest.”

As the fight dissipated, and the group began to disperse, the victim fell to the ground, Hirman said.

The King County Medical Examiner’s Office did not release the victim’s identity on Tuesday.

“He was an amazing guy who loved everyone and would give the shirt off his back to anyone who would’ve needed it,” Morrison said in a text message on Tuesday. “He died being a hero like he was every day to anyone he met. He was my best friend and died trying to do the right thing.”

After the stabbing, the woman’s cousin and his relatives left, Hirman said.

Officers got a description of the vehicle and stopped the car about eight blocks away, Hirman said.

In it, officers found the suspect — the woman’s cousin — as well as a bloodied knife, Hirman said.

Court documents show the cousin has a history of assault convictions and recently spent six days in jail on a conviction for reckless driving.

Police said he was to be booked into King County Jail on investigation of homicide.

The cousin has not been charged but is likely to have a first court appearance on Thursday, police said.

Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or cclarridge@seattletimes.com.

Seattle Times news researcher David Turim contributed

to this report.