Police said Juan Santiago, 34, got into an argument with two men around 10 p.m. Thursday. During the argument, one of the suspects pulled out a knife and stabbed him to death outside his apartment complex.
"All I know is he went out for a smoke and he never came back," said the victim's stepdaughter, Bianca Pelliway.
Santiago was a father to four daughters. His family is in shock.
"He was trying to get a new job so we can move from here and have better things in life. It sucks that all of that was taken from him in a matter of minutes, seconds, or however it was. I just wish he was here," said Pelliway.
Santiago died at the scene. No one we spoke with in the 12th Street neighborhood saw who stabbed Santiago.
Neighbor Khanly Saycon, who works as an armed security guard, tells Eyewitness News it was chaotic when he returned home from work Thursday night.
"You never know what you're going to walk home to. As it is, my job is pretty stressful. To come home to something like this and have the streets blocked off, you wonder what's going on, what happened," said Saycon.
Long Beach police have little evidence on who killed Santiago. Investigators said the victim and the suspects were acquaintances. They're asking for the public's help for more information.