Four people have been arrested following the brutal killing of 24-year-old nursing assistant Samuel Luiz, in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain.

Warning: This story has details of a homophobic attack and might be distressing to some readers. 

According to multiple sources, in the early hours of Saturday July 3 morning, Luiz and his friend Lina left EL Andén nightclub briefly to video call a mutual friend, Vanesa. However, two people wrongly believed Luiz was filming them.

“Either stop recording or I’ll kill you, fucking faggot,” one of the people allegedly yelled at Luiz.

It was at that point that the situation escalated, with one passer-by setting 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,” Vanesa told El Mundo, who at the time 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!’”

Mob Set Upon Samuel

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Police have described how the situation quickly escalated. The two accused returned with more people, until a “human pack” kicked the 24-year-old 150 meters down the street from EL Andén nightclub, before setting upon him once again, beating him until he was unconscious. Luiz died hours later at a local hospital.

Most tragic was that this was Luiz’s first time out since the COVID19 pandemic began to rip through Spain last year.

Police continue to trawl through CCTV footage from the nightclub and surrounding area, but footage already uncovered shows that at least 15 people were involved in the horrific and homophobic attack.

“The man tried to escape on a number of occasions,” police sources have detailed. “He fell and got up as many as three times, he managed to cross the street, but they caught up with him again and carried on beating him. There were a lot of people, men and women, and they didn’t assault him, but they did cheer on those who were,” until Luiz “definitively fell to the floor.”

Protests Erupt In Spain

The LGBTQI+ community in Spain protested against Samuel Luiz’s brutal killing. Image: Fundación Triángulo

The Madrid-headquartered newspaper El País,  has reported that more than a dozen witnesses have come forward to provide statements to authorities calling out the homophobic nature of the attack. So far three men and one woman all aged between 20-25 have been arrested and are currently held in police custody.

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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez described the killing, as a “savage and merciless act” posting on Twitter that “I trust that the police investigation will soon find the authors of the killing of Samuel and establish the facts. We will not take a step backward in rights and liberties. Spain will not tolerate it.”

In the wake of Luiz’s death, the hashtags #JusticiaParaSamuel and #JusticeForSamuel began trending on Twitter in Spain and around the world, with mass protests taking place across Spain on Monday.

Fundación Triángulo, one of the groups responsible for the wide spread protests on Monday shared a statement speaking out against “structural violence” against the LGBTQ community.

#JusticeParaSamuel protests in Spain. Image: Fundación Triángulo

“Terror, anguish, fear. That’s what Samuel must have felt before dying. What his friends felt when they witnessed the event and his family when they received the news,” the statement said. “Terror, anguish and fear is what we feel as we concentrate ourselves this afternoon in hundreds of localities in Spain to show our indignation and disgust from Samuel’s death.”

 

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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