Fourth man charged with murder after frenzied mob killing of young gay man Samuel Luiz
A fourth person has been arrested in connection to the slaying of Samuel Luiz, a 24-year-old gay man, Spain’s national police force said Thursday (8 July).
The Policía Nacional announced in a Twitter statement that cops have arrested a man aged between 20 and 25. He is charged with murder in addition to “misappropriation”, or robbery, for allegedly stealing the victim’s mobile phone.
His arrest comes after the authorities arrested three A Coruña residents Wednesday afternoon with the death of Luiz, brutally beaten by more than a dozen people by a nightclub in the Galician city.
According to police sources, the fourth suspect is understood to be friends with the three already arrested, La Vanguardia, a Spanish-speaking newspaper, reported. None of those detained reportedly knew the victim before the attack.
🚩Detenida una cuarta persona como presunta autora de la muerte de #Samuel
Se trata de un varón de entre 20 y 25 años, acusado de homicidio y apropiación indebida pic.twitter.com/oHwyyBdq1a
— Policía Nacional (@policia) July 8, 2021
The investigation continues as police continue to comb through the surveillance camera footage of Andén, the nightclub Samuel Luiz and his friends partied at before his death, and along Avenida Bos Aires, the promenade he was chased and beaten down.
Sources close to the investigation told EFE, a Spanish news agency, that the police are now interviewing witnesses and looking at mobile phone footage of the beating.
Protests quickly sprang up in major Spanish cities, including Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, as news of the mob beating spread on social media.
Thousands locked arms and waved rainbow flags in a defiant demonstration against Luiz’s passing even as local riot police resorted to violent methods to kettle protesters, drawing criticism from lawmakers and activists.
What happened to Samuel Luiz in Spain?
In what was his first outing since the coronavirus pandemic began, Samuel Luiz, a nursing assistant, swung by the Andén nightclub with his friend Lina.
Lina and Luiz left the nightclub briefly to video call a mutual friend, Vanesa, they told El Mundo. Two people in the area, however, mistook Luiz for filming them at around 3am.
“Either stop recording or I’ll kill you, f*g,” one of the people allegedly barked.
But the misunderstand quickly curdled into violence as one of the passersby set upon him, leaving Luiz bruised and his mobile phone missing.
“The video was blocked, but the audio kept playing and I did not know what exactly was happening,” said Vanesa, who was still on the other end of the call
“I only heard the blows and Lina yelling: ‘Leave him, he’s my friend, please leave him!'”
The man left only after a bystander intervened, leaving Lina time to search for Luiz’s phone. But then the assailant returned, bringing a dozen more with him who together violently pummelled him.
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Local camera footage showed how the beating stretched out for around 150 to 200 metres away from the nightclub and along the street until he collapsed unconscious.
Even then, the footage showed, the group cheered one another as they continued to kick him.
Luiz died in the early hours last Saturday at the A Coruña Hospital despite medics’ two-hour-long efforts to save him.
“They showed him no mercy,” a police source said.