MILWAUKEE -- Friends and family gathered Tuesday night to hold a vigil for Shawn Ostrom, the Pfister Hotel chef who was fatally stabbed near Brady Street this week.
Ostrom was stabbed outside a bar at Pulaski and Arlington.
They say he died doing what he was known for: Helping others.
Shawn moved to Milwaukee about five years ago from Monroe, Wisconsin, where his mom still lives. Most of his family now lives in the Chicago area. They tell TODAY'S TMJ4 that they can't believe he's gone. They want everyone to know how loved he was, which was evident at a vigil Tuesday night.
"He had such a good heart," says Nathan Folsom. "He would give anyone the shirt off his back if they needed it. He died doing what he believed was right. Standing up for somebody. That was Shawn."
Folsom met Shawn while working at the very bar the 32-year-old died outside of around 1 a.m. Monday. Folsom says Shawn was trying to help a girl he knows.
"He saw the guy lay his hands on her or get physical, and he stepped in because of it," Folsom says. "During the altercation, the guy pulled a knife and cut Shawn's throat."
Friends say Shawn also knew the man who pulled the knife.
"When I first heard who did it, I was in shock," Folsom says. "Just sheer shock. He and Shawn were friends, and had known each other for two years."
Police have arrested two men for Shawn's death. A 45-year-old from Oak Creek, and a 20-year-old from Greenfield. But for those who loved Shawn, that brings little solace
One by one friends placed candles and flowers at a growing memorial outside the bar. Shawn's girlfriend, who was there when he died, was unable to hold back her tears.
Matt Eells, who worked at the Pfister Hotel with Shawn, stopped with his family to pay their respects. He says besides being a truly good person, Shawn was a very talented young chef.
"It's a stressful environment, and he was captain of the ship whenever he was on-board," Eells says. "He was so generous with his time and knowledge. He made amazing food and loved doing it. We are all devastated. But we'll continue to work hard in his honor. That's what he would have wanted."
Shawn was on a mission to try and raise money to help his mom in Monroe pay for a surgery she needs. Friends have set up a GoFundMe account, to help see Shawn's mission through now that he's gone. Here is the link to donate.