A 26-year-old cook was stabbed to death in Southeast Washington Tuesday night when he tried to break up a fight in which at least half a dozen young men were battling, some with sticks, poles and knives.

When Stanley Head heard the fight in front of his family's home at 2754 Bruce Pl. SE, he rushed out into the street and was immediately beaten kicked and fatally stabbed, family members said.

A second man was struck in the mouth with an iron pipe, a third was seriously stabbed in the side and a fourth was stabbed in the back during the fracas, police said.

Michael Thomas Moore, 19, of 1625 E St. SE was charged with second-degree murder in the case, police said. They said others may also be charged after evidence has been presented to a grand jury.

Head's death, from multiple stab wounds, climaxed an evening-long quarrel apparently arose from the sale of a stereo set.

Rodney Samuel Moore, 18, the arrested man's brother, had sold the stereo to Oliver Jones, 20, according to Jones' mother. She said a fight ensued after her son claimed the stereo blew up in Jones' face and demanded a refund from Moore.

Later, police said, Moore called two brothers and several friends together and returned to Jones' home at 2760 Bruce Pl. SE, where a second fight took place about 9:30 p.m.

The boy (Rodney Moore) stood outside the back door and shouted to my brother, Oliver, that if he didn't come out by the time he counted to 40, my brother was punk," said Victor Jones, 18.

Patricia Jones, 51, said she heard the youth counting and saw some other youths crouched behind trash cans behind her house. She said she told her son, Oliver, not to go outside.

A short time later, Mrs. Jones said yesterday, she heard a commotion in the street and went outside. "The first thing I saw was my son Victor lying unconscious on the sidewalk," she said."I looked up and and my two other sons were in fight with about six or seven other people."

Mrs. Jones said she saw Stanley Head when he came out of his house three doors away and started toward the fighting group. "My sons shouted to him to go back, to not get involved," Mrs. Jones said. "But Stanley walked right into the group."

"My brother was just trying to stop the fight," said Pamela Head, 17, with tears in her eyes. Then he was repeatedly stabbed and fell to the ground, where he was stabbed again, she said.

Dana Head, 25, said that he, his brother Stanley and several other members of the family of 10 children were having a sing-along when Stanley heard shouting outside.

"My sister told Stan not to go out, but he said he wanted to try to see what was wrong," Dana Head recalls. "I went out after him and saw eight or nine people fighting.

"I went to my brother, Stanley, who had been stabbed. I held him in my arms," he said. "He told me, 'I'm going to die." I told him he wasn't going to die - that the ambulance is on the way.

"Blood shot out of a hole by Stanley's heart and out of another hole in his back," Head continued. When the ambulance arrived they tried to talk like my brother was still alive. But I could tell he was dead." According police, Stanley Head died shortly after he arrived at Southeast Community Hospital.

"My son Stanley was just an innocent bystander," said Nellie Head, whose family moved to the Woodland public housing project 13 years ago. "He never wanted to do anybody any harm. All he wanted to do was help people."

Stanley Head "was willing to do anything for people," said Viola Jackson, a long time friend of the family "He helped people with their kids. He would walk people's dogs or cats. He shoveled snow for people who couldn't do it themselves. He used to help me dig up my garden."

Oliver Jones, who suffered multiple stab wounds, was in fair condition yesterday at Southeast Community Hospital. His brother, Robert, 19, was treated for a stab wound in the back and released.

Police said Michael T. Moore was arraigned in D.C. Superior Court late yesterday and released on his personal recognizance.