Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was persecuted, beaten with her own crutch and then beaten “to death with bare hands” while on the ground by the assailant, who also stole her mobile phone, Macerata police said.
A bystander captured video footage of the attack, which took place in the eastern coastal city of Civitanova Marche, but no one was seen physically intervening in part of the clip.
In the video, a woman can be heard yelling “stop, stop immediately” and a man yelling, “You’re killing him.” The footage was released by Italian media after being shared online.
The incident took place at 2 pm Friday on the main central street of Civitanova Marche, Luconi said. Ogorchukwu was found dead at the scene by paramedics, the police statement added on Sunday.
Macerata police officer Matteo Luconi told CNN on Monday that the killing was “not racially motivated,” and a police statement on Sunday said it was likely for “minor reasons.”
A 32-year-old Italian citizen, Filippo Ferlazzo, was arrested for murder and robbery, police said. One of Ferlazzo’s attorneys, Federica Trifoglio, told CNN Monday that her client has psychiatric problems and that they intend to file a psychiatric report.
The Nigerian embassy in Rome condemned the killing, saying “the incident occurred on a busy street and in front of shocked onlookers, some of whom recorded videos of the attack, with little or no attempt to prevent it.”
The embassy said it was working with Italian authorities to ensure justice is done and to provide assistance to the victim’s family.
Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, told reporters on Friday that she wanted justice for her husband. “Italy, don’t leave me alone,” she said.
She told reporters that the last time she saw her husband on Friday morning, “I gave him a croissant, I said ‘eat this.’ I gave him the croissant and I haven’t seen him since. Then a lot of people came calling me.” : —Your husband, come! I needed someone with the car and when I got to Civitanova I saw him lying on the street.
Francesco Mantella, the lawyer representing Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity, told CNN that Ogorchukwu had been in Italy for about nine years on a regular residence permit and was working as a street vendor.
Ogochukwu was left with a limp after he was hit by a car last year while riding a bicycle. He used a crutch to help him get around, Mantella said.
He sold small things, lighters and tissue paper, the attorney said. He traveled every day from his home in the small town of San Severino Marche to the larger city of Civitanova Marche, hoping to do better business.
The mayor of Civitanova Marche announced that the municipality will pay Ogorchukwu’s funeral expenses, Mantella said, and a fundraiser has been launched to help his widow and 8-year-old son.
The assassination has shaken the country, where right-wing factions could gain more support in the upcoming elections.
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