01/25/2013 04:01 EST | Updated 01/25/2013 08:29 EST

Manraj Akalirai Dead: Vancouver Sword Murder Victim Identified


The victim of an East Vancouver sword attack on Wednesday is being remembered as a "loving, caring person," who was "always there for his friends and family."

Manraj Akalirai, 19, is being mourned as a fun-loving jokester who loved to play basketball, according to messages posted by his friends on a Facebook memorial group.

Akalirai, who recently graduated from Gladstone High School, was killed in group attack at Elgin Street and East 47th Avenue that involved clubs, bats and a sword, reported CBC News.

The victim died of severe injuries believed to be caused by a sword, said police on Thursday. They said the killing had suggested ties to the drug trade and "some gang connections."

But Akalirai's family told CBC in a statement that he had no ties to gangs or drugs.

One tribute on Facebook, alleged to be from Akalirai's cousin, said he fought like a "champ and a warrior" after getting caught up in "someone else's bull***."

Police arrested five men shortly after the Wednesday attack but they've all been released from custody. A sixth man, who was arrested in downtown Vancouver on Thursday afternoon, is being questioned by homicide investigators, said police on Friday. No charges have yet been laid.

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