CRAWFORD, New York (WABC) --Police are investigating after a 20-year-old man was found dead during a party in Crawford Friday.
According to the New York State Police, 20-year old Justin Speights, of Scotchtown, was stabbed following an argument outside a home on Paddock Drive.
When police arrived, Speights was inside and others were trying to revive him. He was taken to Orange Regional Medical Center where he died.
Speights graduated two years ago from Pine Bush High School where he was an honor student and standout football player. He was also a volunteer firefighter with Silver Lake Fire Department.
Speights did not live in the house where the party was held. About 80 to 120 people attended throughout the night.
His mother says her son tried to protect a friend who was getting beat up.
"He was a great kid, quiet, helped anybody out. He was himself at home, fun, jokester," said the victim's mother Lisa Speights.
Police say the party was attended by current and former Pine Bush High School students. Police say at some point a group of outsiders crashed the party.
"At this time we are trying to ascertain who the altercation was between. At some point during this altercation Mr. Speights was stabbed to death," said New York State Police Major Joseph Tripodo.
The loss is also being felt by the Silver Lake Fire District, where Speights was a volunteer. He may have been just 20, but Speights was already a veteran, having joined the department when he was 16.
"Everybody loved him. Everybody took him serious because he took his job very serious as a volunteer firefighter," said Jeff Jacques of the Silver Lake Fire District.
Speights proudly displayed his firefighters' helmet as a profile picture on Facebook. Outside the firehouse, flags fly at half staff and there is black and purple bunting. As police investigate, a mother mourns.
"Right now it's a little bit hard, it's too hard right now," said Lisa Speights.
As does a fire department, with message, "Rest in peace Justin. We got it from here."
No one is in custody. The investigation is ongoing and state police are asking that anyone with information on the case, call (845) 344-5300.