Inside fatal CBD girls’ night where teen was fatally stabbed
A TEENAGER was fatally stabbed after allegedly stepping in to protect her upset friend when a gang of teens gatecrashed a "girls' night" birthday celebrations in a CBD apartment at the weekend.
Police arrested a 17-year-old boy on Monday afternoon and he was that night charged with murder after being interviewed by detectives from the homicide squad.
Laa Chol, 19, was celebrating a friend's 20th birthday on Saturday when a group of young men allegedly gatecrashed the party at the EQ Tower on A'Beckett St about 5am.
The group, believed to be made up of up to 20 Africans and caucasians, then fled the scene before police arrived.
The Herald Sun has been told one gang member allegedly pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed Ms Chol after she told the group to leave.
Esta Quirino was at the apartment earlier in the evening and revealed her friends were having a "girls' night" celebrating before the chaos began.
"There was a group of about seven or eight of us there for a friend's birthday party," she said
"It was supposed to be a really fun weekend just with the girls."
The 20-year-old explained how a "gang" of "aggressive" males turned up uninvited and allegedly started to cause trouble.
"They were just too much and too powerful," she said.
"Laa saw the birthday girl was getting upset … she started crying and that's when Laa stepped in and that's when it escalated."
The Herald Sun has been told Ms Chol confronted the group and told them to leave but they refused and became violent.
"She just asked them politely they needed to go and they weren't welcome, because her friend was getting upset they were there," Ms Quirino said.
"Then one of the guys pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed her in the left side of her stomach."
Ms Laa collapsed as the gang of teens fled.
"They just ran off like cowards," Ms Quirino said. "Some of the girls tried to run after them."
Ms Quirino said she was "distraught" when she found out her friend of six years had been killed.
"I didn't want it to be true," she said. "They weren't invited. We were there having a girls' night.
"She would always back anyone up if she sees wrong. And for standing up for others this is what she got in return … death."
She described her friend as a "beautiful girl, filled with happiness".
Another friend, Tabitha Deng, described Ms Chol as "bubbly" who would do "anything for anyone".
"Laa was a very happy person and would do anything for her family," Ms Deng said. "I feel so much sadness she is gone … I can't believe it."
Family and friends have remembered a "goofy and outgoing" university student who aspired to be a lawyer.
Ms Chol's mother, Ojwanga Abalo, fought back tears remembering her daughter who "loved everyone" and was "always happy and lovely".
"I miss my daughter," Ms Abalo told the Herald Sun.
"Just whenever you saw her, it was a happy moment … there were no sad moments.
"I'm speechless. She helped me around the house, she helped me with everything. She found me a job, she makes sure I'm OK.
"I don't know what I'm going to do without her."
The 17-year-old male has been remanded in custody and will appear in Melbourne Children's Court on Tuesday.