Truthfully, there really isn't too much to say: A coach in the Red Bulls youth system, 25-year-old Mike Jones was murdered rather brutally near Union Square around 4 a.m. Sunday morning after a dispute with a man on 14th Street. He was slashed repeatedly across the neck and face and had his ear cut off. Jones was reportedly making his way home after parting with his girlfriend for the evening.
It's important to note that this Mike Jones is not the defender who played for the team last year.
The only thing there really is to say is that no one, especially a young man who worked with kids for a living, deserves to die that way.
His story is making the rounds internationally, so here's a rundown of the coverage.
First, a statement from the team...
"We are aware of this tragedy and on behalf of the entire organization, want to send our most heartfelt condolences to Michael's family, friends and loved ones. He was a tremendous individual, a fantastic coach who loved soccer and a terrific friend for many of us. This is truly a sad day for our soccer community and we will do our utmost to help authorities in their investigation of this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael's family at this time."
Condolences, messages and gifts to the Jones family may be sent to the following address:
Attn: Red Bulls Training Programs
Red Bull Arena
600 Cape May Street
Harrison, NJ 07029
The Gothamist has some pretty sad details and posted a video of the suspect...
Authorities responded to a 911 call at around 4:25 a.m. Sunday, but are unsure how long Jones lay prone on the sidewalk, as some passersby believed him to be part of a prank for Halloween. "We thought it was a Halloween joke or something because his phone was there, so maybe if we tried to get his phone that he'll pop up or something," one witness told CBS.
The Daily News has a reaction from his friend and co-coach...
"He was greatly loved and respected by everyone, the parents, the players, his colleagues," said Craig Hutchinson, a fellow coach who met Jones five years ago. "He was happy, enthusiastic and upbeat. He'd do anything for anyone."
"I'm completely shocked and devastated by all of this," said Hutchinson.
The BBC spoke to Jones' father, Perry, and others who knew Jones...
"I contacted the police and I was totally shocked, I was expecting to hear he had been injured in an accident," said Mr Perry.
"We just cannot believe it."
The Post has an unnamed cop suggesting the motive was personal...
"It was a frenzy. The guy was chopped multiple times," a law-enforcement source told The Post. "He cut the guy's ear off. It doesn't get any more personal than that."
Cops said they're baffled over the motive, although it doesn't appear to be robbery: Jones, whom they called a "good kid,'' still had his wallet on him, and what appeared to be his bloody iPhone was recovered nearby.
Speaking of the cops, here's a tweet from the NYPD with a picture of the suspect...
We'll update this with any more information as it becomes available.
RIP Mike Jones.