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Protest Erupt in St. Louis After Bosnian Man Is Murdered

December 2, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Protest Erupt in St. Louis After Bosnian Man Is Murdered Zemir Begic and wife Arijana MujkanovicImage courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

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A third teen has been arrested after a man was viciously beaten in a fatal hammer attack on a south St. Louis street, police said.

Zemir Begic was in his car on Itaska St. Sunday at 1:15 a.m. when several young men began damaging it.

When Begic got out to confront the teens, he was attacked.

Begic, 32, a Bosnian native who moved to St. Louis this year, suffered fatal head injuries, as well as injuries to his abdomen, face and mouth in the violent assault and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, police said.

“He didn’t deserve this,” wife Arijana Mujkanovic told KDSK. She said Begic saved her life, pushing her out of harm’s way.

Police arrested three out of four suspects in connection to the murder. Two teens, ages 15-16, were apprehended in the attack and have been charged with first-degree murder. It is not yet clear whether they will be charged as adults or face charges as juveniles.

A third teen, 17-year-old Robert Mitchell, turned himself in Sunday night, police said. He was charged with murder and armed criminal action as an adult, according to the Circuit Attorney’s office.

Police have not yet arrested a fourth suspect.

The criminal backgrounds of the suspects do not indicate they would commit a crime of this degree, police said.

Multiple hammers were used in the slaying, but police would not say how many.

The Bosnian enclave of Bevo Mill staged a protest Sunday night and blocked a nearby intersection in an angry demonstration reminiscent of nearby Ferguson, Mo.

“We’re just angry because we’re trying to protect our community,” Mirza Nukic, 29, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re just trying to be peaceful.”

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson spoke with residents, numbering about 50, during the street protest. He said the killing did not appear to be motivated by race or ethnicity.

“I heard your message loud and clear. You want to make sure you are safe,”Dotson told the crowd, according to KMOV. “I want to make sure you are safe and every neighborhood in our city.”

Seldin Dzananovic, 24, said it could have been him. The hammer-wielding teens attacked him an hour earlier, but he suffered only cuts to his hands and neck,the Post-Dispatch reported.

“I’m just lucky,” Dzananovic said. “God is on my side.”

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