A 23-year-old Marine mortarman was stabbed and killed in Waikiki, Hawaii early Saturday morning, following a verbal altercation that escalated to violence.

Sgt. William Brown, who hailed from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force based at the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, has been characterized as a “beloved member” of his unit by fellow Marines following his murder over the weekend.  According to local media reports, an argument between Brown and one or more assailants broke out at the corner of Kalakaua Ave. and Royal Hawaiian Ave. around 1 a.m. Saturday.  Soon thereafter, Brown was stabbed.  He was listed in critical condition upon arriving at the hospital, but died soon therafter.

“Sergeant Brown was a beloved member of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines who had been with the unit for five years,” Lt. Col. Steven Eastin, battalion commander, 3rd battalion, 3rd marines, said in a statement. “He had qualities we value in our Marine non-commissioned officers. His death is tragic and the battalion joins his family in grief. He will always be loved and remembered.”

21-year-old Brad Paul Aliksa was taken into custody following the incident, as well as a 16-year-old boy and 15-year-old girl.  Aliksa is said to have been charged with second degree murder, but the involvement of the two teens has not been related to the media, and it’s possible that they may have been released along with some six other teenagers who were arrested for other offenses in the area before being released.