Mr Kourtis was in his house in Langton Street, Riverstone, in the early hours of Sunday morning, when, police said, “a group of at least five males entered the home and stabbed the male occupant, before fleeing”.
Friends and family are baffled about how the tradesman, who had moved to Australia from Cyprus eight years ago, came to lose his life in such horrific circumstances.
“It’s so confusing to me that a bunch of teenagers would [allegedly] do this,” said the friend who said that, to her knowledge, Mr Kourtis wasn’t mixed up with shady people and didn’t do drugs.
“He only had certain people close to him.”
Two teenage boys, aged 16 and 17, were tracked by police dogs from his home to a property on nearby Regent Street, where they were arrested.
The pair, who are not believed to be co-operating with investigators, were charged with murder.
They were both refused bail and were due to appear at Parramatta Childrens Court on Monday.
As police continue to hunt for the other alleged attackers, detectives are inestigating whether Mr Kourtis knew the boys.
“One of the lines that we are pursuing [is] that it was a targeted attack or that the offenders were known to the deceased or the deceased knew the offenders,” Superintendent Jenny Scholz said on Sunday.
Mr Kourtis’ cousin Jodie Kourtis said that his violent death would haunt the family for the rest of their lives.
“Kevin had a kind heart and never deserved such a tragic ending to his life,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Our cousin Kevin will be missed and we will always remember our times together.”
The family are now raising money to repatriate Mr Kourtis’ body to Cyprus, where his mother still lives.
Sally Rawsthorne is a Crime Reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.