According to St. Louis police, a group of at least three teenagers (and possibly a fourth), attacked and killed 32-year-old Zemir Begic early Sunday morning. The teens allegedly bludgeoned Begic to death with hammers.
The group of teens fled the scene after the attack, KMOV reports, and two male suspects—ages 15 and 16—were arrested by police soon after. Police apparently have the nickname of a third suspect “and believe a fourth was involved.” From the St. Louis Dispatch:
Police said Begic was in his vehicle about 1:15 a.m. in the 4200 block of Itaska when several juveniles approached and began damaging his car. Police said Begic got out to confront the juveniles, who began yelling at him and hitting him with hammers.
Begic, 32, who lived in the 4200 block of Miami Street, suffered injuries to his head, abdomen, face and mouth. He died at St. Louis University Hospital.
“The last thing he did before he actually died was pull me out of the way and put himself in front of me, basically giving up his life for me,” Begic’s wife, Arijana Mujkanovic, told KSDK. Begic had moved to St. Louis last year; he immigrated to the U.S. from Bosnia with his family in 1996.
At least 50 people, mostly fellow Bosnians, the St. Louis Dispatch reports, filled the intersection where Begic was killed Sunday night in protest of violence against local Bosnians. (Protesters recalled the May 2013 killing of 19-year-old Haris Gogic in his family’s convenient store in the same Bevo Mill neighborhood that Begic was killed.)
“There is no indication that the gentleman last night was targeted because he was Bosnian,” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told protesters Sunday night. “There’s no indication that they knew each other.”
Another St. Louis Bosnian, Suad Nuranjkovic, 49, claims to have also been in the car with Begic. He told the St. Louis Dispatch that when the teens began attacking, he ran and hid in the parking lot across the street. “I was afraid that if one of them had a gun, they were going to shoot me, so I didn’t know what to do,” he told the paper.
—Courtesy of Gawker