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9 Jul, 2021 12:48

Spanish police arrest two underage suspects over high-profile murder of gay man beaten to death

Spanish police arrest two underage suspects over high-profile murder of gay man beaten to death

Two more arrests have been made in connection with the brutal murder of a Spanish gay man, which sparked massive protests this week. The victim, Samuel Luiz, was beaten to death in a suspected hate assault.

The arrests of the underage suspects, which were announced by the Spanish national police on Friday, brings to six the number of people taken into custody as part of the investigation. Three people were arrested in connection with the case on Tuesday and another one on Thursday. The four suspects are all in their early 20s, police reported.

Luiz, a 24-year-old gay man from the northwestern city of A Coruna in the Galicia autonomous community, was assaulted early on Saturday morning. He died from injuries after being taken to a hospital. The attack happened outside a nightclub, where he and his female friends were enjoying a chance to finally party after Covid-19 restrictions were lifted for nightlife in the region.

According to witness accounts, Luiz was on a video call, which a couple mistook for him recording them. An emotionally charged argument that followed quickly escalated into a 15-minute-long brutal beating, during which the young man was reportedly chased by multiple slur-slinging assailants.

The victim’s friends called the incident a homophobic hate attack. Police investigators refrained from making statements about the motive for the murder, saying they were looking into all scenarios.

The death happened on Pride weekend and sparked nationwide fury, with mass protests held in many Spanish cities on Monday. The biggest event in the capital Madrid drew thousands of demonstrators who demanded justice for Luiz and protection for the LGBT community from hate crime.

Luiz’ family asked the activists not to turn his death into a signature ‘flag case’ and said they simply wanted justice to be served. His father, Max Luiz, asked the supporters to donate food to the Red Cross, saying that this would have made his son happy, with many granting his request.

According to media reports, the young man was born in Brazil and moved to Spain at the age of one. He was studying medicine to become a dentist and was working as an assistant at a nursing home, when his life was tragically cut short.

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