The murder of a St. Louis man from Bosnia has fellow Bosnians living in the city outraged.
Police say 32-year-old Zemir Begic was in his vehicle early Sunday morning when several juveniles approached and began damaging his car. Begic got out of the car to confront the juveniles, who then began yelling at him and hitting him with hammers.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Begic suffered injuries to his head, abdomen, face and mouth, and died later at St. Louis University Hospital.
Police say two juvenile males, ages 15 and 16 are in custody. A third suspect has been identified and police believe a fourth person was also involved.
An estimated 50 people briefly blocked Gravois Avenue Sunday night near the scene of the attack. Some expressed anger or fear that Begic was targeted because he is Bosnian. Others recalled other incidents of violence against Bosnians in recent years.
Begic’s wife, Arijiana Mujkanovic, told KSDK she witnessed the attack.
“He pulled me out of the way and put himself in front of me, basically giving his life up for me,” Mujkanovic said.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson spoke with those that were demonstrating Sunday night and told them about the two teens in custody. He said the killing did not appear to be motivated by race or ethnicity. He also told them the neighborhood would see increased patrols.