A "gentle and deeply religious" IT worker was stabbed to death during rioting in Birmingham after being set upon by up to 11 men, police said last night.
Heartbroken relatives of Isiah Young-Sam said they had lost "the diamond in our family".
The 23- year- old, who worked for Birmingham City Council, died in the arms of friends as he was rushed to City Hospital after the attack less than 200 yards from his home off Lozells Road.
Mr Young-Sam, who was only 5ft 4ins tall, was walking in the opposite direction to the trouble on his way home from the cinema when he was attacked, along with his brother Zephaniah and two friends, by ten or 11 men who pulled up in three cars.
His mother Murna McLean wept as she spoke of her son who loved to wear a suit and tie to work and would always read a chapter of the Bible first thing each day.
Speaking for the first time about the tragedy, she said: "He had very good manners in a slightly old fashioned way. He was gentle and would hold open a door or help someone with their shopping.
"He was a private person, deeply religious and reserved. He didn't have the lifestyle of a typical black young man in Lozells. He wasn't out on the streets or at parties - he didn't even have a steady girlfriend.
"If someone had tried to drag him into an argument, he would have laughed and walked away."
Mrs McLean said Isiah had been promoted earlier this year and was taking on more responsibility after working for four years as an IT troubleshooter at the council's Waterlinks House in Nechells.
She believes he became an innocent victim of Saturday's riot because he simply was not streetwise.
One of Mr Young-Sam's friends had surgery for stab wounds to his back. Mrs McLean was called to City Hospital at 7.30pm on Saturday but her son had already died.
A former pupil of Dartmouth High School, Aston Manor and St George's Primary in Newtown, he had always been computer mad. He was also a keep fit fanatic and worked out regularly at the gym at Newtown Community Centre.
Detective Superintendent Dave Mirfield, who is investigating the murder, said he had gone with his brother and two close friends to a cinema in Broad Street to watch a film.
The group then boarded either the number 33 or 34 bus to Perry Barr.
"At about 7pm in Carlisle Street in Lozells, the group were approached by three cars. Those cars contained, we believe, between ten and 11 men. These men got out of the car, armed with knives and attacked Isiah and his friends," he said.
"Isiah received a single stab wound to the chest and a friend received a stab wound to the back. They were taken to hospital by relatives.
"At 7.25, he was pronounced dead after attempts to revive him."
Det Supt Mirfield appealed for witnesses who may have been on either the number 33 or 34 bus to Perry Barr that night and asked for people with CCTV and camera phone evidence to come forward.
He also said 32 people were still in hospital, recovering from knife and machete inflicted wounds or from general assault. None of them were in a serious condition and are expected to be released soon. The police officer shot in the thigh is due to be released from hospital soon.