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
Detenidos 3 jóvenes de entre 20 y 25 años, vecinos de A Coruña, como presuntos autores de la agresión violenta que acabó con la vida de Samuel Luiz
La investigación continúa abierta hasta el total esclarecimiento de los hechos. No se descartan más detenciones en próximas horas pic.twitter.com/r8Cs88b1Dz
— Policía Nacional (@policia) July 6, 2021
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 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.
Confío en que la investigación de @policia dé pronto con los autores del asesinato de Samuel y esclarezca los hechos. Fue un acto salvaje y despiadado.
No daremos ni un paso atrás en derechos y libertades. España no lo va a tolerar. Todo mi apoyo a su familia y seres queridos.
— Pedro Sánchez (@sanchezcastejon) July 5, 2021
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.
“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.