BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A few minutes before he was fatally stabbed, Anastasio Caceres had been arguing on his phone.
"I'll be back in five minutes," he told friends at the house on Southwest. 54th Way, near Southwest Ninth Street in the Sandalfoot Cove neighborhood at about 11:20 p.m. Monday.
He stepped outside to meet somebody, where the arguing continued. Within minutes the yelling would turn violent and Caceres, 25, was stabbed. Clutching his abdomen and bleeding, the father of a 2-year-old boy stepped back from the curb and collapsed.
Driven to the hospital by a cousin, he died at 2:47 a.m. Tuesday at Delray Medical Center. About a dozen friends and family who had gone to the hospital were devastated and yesterday, those who knew Caceres continued to shed tears just steps away from where he'd been stabbed.
"He was a good friend, he didn't deserve to die," said close friend Wilfranc Augustin, 16, who along with other family and friends was in mourning Tuesday.
Standing on the doorstep of the home where the murder occured, Augustin said he did not see the stabbing or its immediate aftermath because his mother had ordered him to stay inside. However, Augustin knew Caceres well and said his sense of humor and encouraging words will be missed.
"Everybody knew him for being funny, he just had a good personality," Augustin said. "He was cool to hang out with."
Augustin said that Caceres, who himself had not finished high school, had realized his mistake in not graduating. He would tell Augustin and his siblings to stay in school and that his one regret in life was not listening to his mother, who had implored him to graduate.
"Before he died, he was telling my brother he had to stay in school," Augustin said.
Caceres had been arrested several times since 2003, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.
After issuing a press release Tuesday morning, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office had no further comment.