Horror struck St. Louis early Sunday morning when Zemir Begic and his wife were attacked in their vehicle by hammer-wielding thugs.
IJReview spoke to Zemir’s brother Rasim about what happened next:
The group of guys started jumping on the car. And as soon as it he got out, Zemir was hit with a hammer.
KMOV reported that Zemir sustained injuries to the head, abdomen, face, and mouth. Zemir’s body was found unresponsive in the street and pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Fortunately, two suspects (who happen to be teens) were apprehended. However, more individuals are thought to be involved.
After news of the murder, a small protest broke out.
Tonight responded to a peaceful demonstration in the Bosnian community at Gravois & Itaska. No arrests and everyone has now left.
— Chief Sam Dotson (@ChiefSLMPD) December 1, 2014
IJReview asked Rasim what his family wants after such a horrific tragedy. Rasim said:
We have been in the U.S. since 1996. The reason we moved from Bosnia was because of the war and the killing, and then it happened here. I just want justice for Zemir. That’s all I want. Our family will never be the same. It’s hard. Waking up this morning, I felt like it was a dream, it was so hard to believe.
If they don’t get death row, I hope they get life in prison. I don’t want anyone else’s family going through the same stuff. It’s just hard, I can’t even describe it.
If kids end up doing this kind of crime, they should get punished as an adult. People are telling me that because they’re younger, the judge might not press as hard of charges. I don’t think these kids should be out on the streets and they need to be held accountable to the fullest extent that justice can give.
In addition, a Go Fund Me campaign was set up to cover funeral arrangements for Zemir.
We can only hope that the wishes of Zemir’s family are granted and that full justice is served.
Please follow Zemir’s brother Rasim on Twitter: Rasim Begic
Tweet using #JusticeforZemir
ST. LOUIS • A 17-year-old St. Louis man has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the bludgeoning death of a Bosnian immigrant.
Police say Robert Mitchell along with two other teens, both juveniles, attacked the 32-year-old man with hammers early Sunday. He was pronounced dead at a hospital. Mitchell and one of the juveniles are black and the other teen is Hispanic, according to police.
A police spokeswoman said investigators do not believe race played a role in the bludgeoning death of a Bosnian immigrant early Sunday, but declined to say what authorities believe is the motive in the killing.
Many at the scene of the murder near Gravois Avenue and Itaska Street speculated that the four men who beat Zemir Begic, 32, to death with hammers targeted him because of his Bosnian descent.
An off-duty police officer fatally shot a man who opened fire during a chase in south St. Louis, city police said.
St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins said the 32-year-old officer was working a secondary security job late Wednesday when the shooting happened. Adkins said the officer, a six-year-veteran of the St. Louis Police Department, approached four men on the street.
“As he exited the car, the gentlemen took off running. He was able to follow one of them before he lost him and then found him again as the guy jumped out of some bushes across the street,” Adkins said. “The officer approached, they got into a struggle, they ended up into a gangway, at which time the young man pulled a weapon and shots were fired. The officer returned fire and unfortunately the young man was killed.”
He did not name the officer or the man killed.
Adkins said the officer wasn’t hurt. Police said a gun was retrieved from the scene, near Missouri Botanical Gardens.
People who described themselves as relatives of the man who was shot later told The St. Louis Post Dispatch that he was not armed.
Adkins did not describe any conversation between the officer and the four pedestrians, and didn’t explain why he gave chase.
Hours after the shooting, a crowd gathered at the scene. Some people shouted “Hands up, don’t shoot” in reference to the fatal shooting in August of an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer. That shooting in Ferguson led to weeks of sometimes violent unrest in the St. Louis suburb. Officer Darren Wilson has not been charged in the shooting.