Friends and family of Navid Niran said the 24-year-old single father had gotten into an argument with a man at a ByWard Market nightclub just a half hour before he was fatally stabbed.

Niran was at Studio Nightclub on Dalhousie Street with a large group early Sunday morning when friends said someone at the bar was acting in an aggressive manner. Friends said Niran shouted at the person, but could not see whether the fight got physical.

They said bouncers threw out the other man.

When the group left the club, they said Niran — who was first out — was stabbed.

Police arrived at the scene at 2:30 a.m. and paramedics said they had to wade through a crowd of 200 people to get to Niran, after bars and clubs closed for the night. 

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A photo of Navid Niran, 24, who was fatally stabbed outside a ByWard Market nightclub. (Submitted by Ahmad Haidiri)

He was rushed to hospital, but died of his injuries on the way to the hospital.

It is the first homicide of the year in Ottawa.

Came from Afghanistan 8 years ago

Niran's cousin Ahmad Haidiri, 23, said eight years ago he drove with his uncle to pick up his cousin upon his arrival to Canada from Afghanistan. He said Niran quickly became like a brother.

"Very good guy, very honest, and his heart is big," said Haidiri. "He was a little guy, shorter than me, but he has a big heart. He's a soldier in there," he said, pointing to his heart.

Haidiri said Niran was a single father with a nine-month-old son. He worked as a cook but was applying to Algonquin College in hopes of becoming an electrician.

A block of Dalhousie Street between Rideau and Besserer Streets remained closed for hours as investigators probed Niran’s death, with a folding knife among the evidence collected by police.

No arrests have been made.