BANGKOK (CBS/AP) Dashawn Longfellow, a former U.S. Marine, was in Thailand for vacation and to study Muay Thai, or Thai boxing - and that may have been what got him killed, according to Thai police.
A manhunt is now underway to find British kickboxer, Lee Aldhouse, who police say followed the Purple Heart recipient back to his hotel and ambushed him outside his hotel room, stabbing him several times in the chest and ultimately killing him.
Witnesses say that hours earlier Aldhouse and Longfellow got into a barroom fight after the Briton tried to block the former Marine from getting to the bathroom. Aldhouse, who was reportedly known for getting drunk, picking fights and bragging about being invincible, had apparently met his match in Longfellow, who was winning the fight when other patrons separated the two brawlers, according to witnesses.
Longfellow left the bar with his Thai girlfriend shortly after the fight but Aldhouse was allegedly not going to concede defeat that easily and followed the couple to their hotel. Longfellow dropped his girlfriend off and then walked to a nearby convenience store.
Aldhouse later ambushed Longfellow outside his hotel room, stabbing him twice in the chest as his terrified girlfriend looked on, according to the Phuket Gazette.
"At first it didn't look like [Aldhouse] had anything," the girlfriend, identified only as Oi, told the Gazette. "We didn't know he had a knife because his hands were in his pockets." She said a fistfight began between the American and the Brit and the latter pulled out a knife and stabbed Longfellow twice in the chest.
Oi said that her boyfriend rushed inside and shut the door to protect her from Aldhouse. Oi called the police and an ambulance, but Longfellow died before they got there.
Longfellow had served in the Marines and was a machine gunner for the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, said Matt Gronbach, of Fort Dodge, Iowa, who was in the same unit with Longfellow.
"Dashawn was a caring and loving person. One of the nicest guys you could ever be around. Great friend, brother and son. He was just a huge teddy bear that everyone loved," Gronbach said.
Longfellow's mother, Tammy, of Oklahoma City, told reporters that her son traveled to Thailand in an effort to gain more knowledge of a form of martial arts.
"He accomplished a lot," Tammy Longfellow said. "He mastered every test they gave him. He worked his hardest and he did the best he could. He was very competitive. He always wants to win, and that's what he did."