The victim was found in a basement unit on South Street, near Dalhousie University. ((Phonse Jessome/CBC))

A 59-year-old man was stabbed to death early Thursday in Halifax and a second man has been charged with second-degree murder, police say.

Officers found the victim, David Anthony Currie, when they were called to the 6100 block of South Street, in the city's south end, at 12:30 a.m.

"We received a call in regards to a complaint of threats being made against somebody at that location," said Const. Brian Palmeter, with Halifax Regional Police.

"When we arrived to investigate that, that's when we discovered the victim of the stabbing."

Police said 47-year-old Quin Zhang was arrested at the scene without incident and remains in custody. He was charged with second-degree murder and is expected to appear in Halifax provincial court later on Thursday.

Palmeter said Currie and Zhang knew each other.

Steve Currie, David Currie's younger brother, was among the first people to arrive at the crime scene.

"A very bright man who has been down on his luck the last couple of years," Currie said of his brother. "We are all very shocked to hear this."

Currie said his brother served as an aid worker in Africa for CUSO-VSO and for the United Nations. He said Currie suffered memory loss after returning from Africa and was unable to find work. He ended up living in the rooming house and collecting social assistance.

"Dave didn't have much money and he received his cheque day before yesterday. I was hoping it wasn't over a small amount of money he was murdered, because he shared very generously with some of the other people in this building who were also down on their luck," he said.

Police said they were called to the rooming house after a complaint that someone was making threats against a resident. When they arrived they found the murder victim and arrested another resident.

Their investigation continues.

With files from The Canadian Press