The victim, who is from the Clacton area, has not yet been named by police.
However, tributes began flooding onto the social networking site Twitter using the hashtag #RIPJay.
One Twitter user, under the name Mary-Ellen1, said:
RIP Jay my little brother, taken too young. We will get you justice.
RIPJay, the mark you left on this Earth is irreplaceable, the mark you left in our hearts is unforgettable.
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Omid Saidy, 20, was knifed to death after asking a drug dealer and another man to leave the area, police say.