Tributes flowed last night for a popular rugby league player allegedly murdered just metres from where his close friend died in similar circumstances last month.
Sean Strongman-Lintern, 20, died after a fight outside the Kapiti Lights Complex north of Wellington on Friday night, five weeks after 17-year-old Izak Millanta died after a brawl outside the same pub.
Emergency services were alerted around 12.40am after reports of a fight near Monteiths Kapiti Junction bar.
Strongman-Lintern died of stab wounds, just before police reached the scene.
A 22-year-old man was charged with Strongman-Lintern's murder and was to appear in the Porirua District Court tomorrow.
Strongman-Lintern's family and the community was reeling at news of his death.
Kapiti Bears Rugby League Club junior chairman Al Kapa said the club was still devastated after burying Izak Millanta.
"So this is the second Kapiti Bear that we've lost within the space of six weeks."
Kapa said Strongman-Lintern was a talented player who was popular and well-respected.
"Sean was just a normal young man growing up in a small town. I think he had his ups and downs every now and again but he was a good kid."
Tributes flowed on Facebook for the man "taken before his time".
"To my beloved nephew Sean taken so suddenly this morning, rest in peace our boy. Glad I got to see you the weekend only to have you taken so tragically this morning. Love always Aunty Sha," wrote Sharlene Maxwell-Rutene.
Police cordons remained in place at the complex yesterday for a scene examination.
More than 30 police staff were working on the investigation. Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Oxnam said police were seeking a knife or similar item which may have been discarded in the Kapiti Lights area or along State Highway One south of Paraparaumu to Pukerua Bay.
A 25-year-old man was charged with assault in relation to Izak's death.
Izak was found by police unconscious at the back of the Coastlands shopping area carpark at Paraparaumu on August 11.
He died in Wellington Hospital the following day.
Kapiti Mana area commander Inspector John Price said the deaths highlighted the need to address some key drivers of crime, including alcohol, drugs and violence.
Kapiti mayor Jenny Rowan described the death as another "senseless loss".
"This is an unbelievably tragic incident that affects not only the family of this young man but our entire community," she said.
- APNZBy Abby Gillies Email Abby