A young woman is dead after a late-night fight in Port Alberni that was sparked by a stolen sweater, family and friends of the victim say.

Carlene Jack, 19, was stabbed at around 1 a.m. Wednesday morning near the intersection of 5th Avenue and Bute Street in the Vancouver Island town.

“She was trying to be a hero,” said Jack’s stepfather, Barry Foster. “These girls took something of her sister’s from our house. They were leaving our house and Carlene went chasing after them…This one girl brought out a knife and stabbed her in the heart multiple times.”

Her friends followed her to the intersection and said they encountered three girls who were known to them, and that alcohol may have been involved.

They said one of the girls allegedly pulled a knife on Jack, then stabbed her.

“I started screaming because she was bleeding really bad, and she said ‘It’s going to be okay, I’m going to be fine,’ and I just held her in my arms,” said a witness who cannot be named due to a publication ban. “We started screaming and a whole bunch of people came and phoned the ambulance.”

Police said the victim was rushed to hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries.

Three people were arrested in connection with the death and on Thursday, an 18-year-old Port Alberni woman was charged. She was scheduled to appear in Port Alberni Provincial Court on Thursday.

The two others arrested have since been released and police said they don't expect to lay any additional charges. No names have been released. 

Police haven’t confirmed the identity of the victim, but said it appeared she knew her attackers.

“They all had their entire lives in front of them,” said Port Alberni RCMP spokesman Insp. Mac Richards. “It was a tragedy for the victim, for the people that we have in custody, and their families. This event has forever changed their lives.”

The witness, who said she knew Jack well, said she’ll remember the 19 year old as her role model and a loving friend.

“She’s so amazing it’s hard to explain. You can’t explain something that’s so perfect like that. She was beyond perfect,” she said.

“She was beautiful,” said Foster. “Carleen was gorgeous, she had a heart of gold. It’s just not right.”

Police are asking any other witnesses they haven’t spoken with to contact them.

With a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Chandler Grieve