Ashley MacNeil’s family is in shock after the Cape Breton, N.S., man was killed in Edmonton this week.

MacNeil, 34, was fatally stabbed in a parking lot near his hotel. Police say it was a homicide. His family in Sydney Mines asked the public to help find his killer.

“We never thought anything like this would happen,” Brenda MacNeil, his sister, said Friday.

MacNeil leaves behind two sons and his common-law partner, Phyllis Peters.

Police say he was involved in a fight with a man at the West Edmonton Truckland early Wednesday. The other man pulled out a knife and stabbed MacNeil several times. 

MacNeil stumbled into the Super 8 Motel, bleeding from stab wounds to his upper body. He was taken to hospital, but died there.

“Ashley was a wonderful guy, wonderful father, big family man,” Brenda MacNeil said.

MacNeil was in Alberta waiting for a job assignment as a pipe fitter.

Peters moved to Cape Breton last year to be with her partner.

“Anybody who knew him, you just loved him. He was just the type of guy that was genuine; what you see is what you got. He was great to everybody,” she said.

'He was a wonderful guy'

People at a gas station in MacNeil's hometown of Sydney Mines said he was a friendly guy.

“Ashley was a regular customer of ours. He came faithfully to buy gas from us,” said Lynn LeBlanc at the Petro-Can. “He was a wonderful guy. He was always polite and mannerly. Very sad to hear.”

MacNeil loved hiking, boating and fishing with his children, his family said.

“We just want people to know that we want to find out what happen,” Brenda MacNeil said. “If anybody has any type of information, come forward to the police in Edmonton.”

MacNeil's funeral will be held in Cape Breton early next week.