Alika Ogorchukwu, a 39-year-old Nigerian, was beaten and killed by Filippo Claudio Giuseppe Ferlazzo in the Adriatic coastal city of Civitanova Marche on Friday.
Onlookers filmed the incident without making any attempt to intervene or save Ogorchukwu.
The Nigerian was selling goods on the city’s main street when Ferlazzo grabbed his crutch and struck him down with it, according to the Associated Press.
“The aggressor went after the victim, first hitting him with a crutch. He made him fall to the ground, then he finished, causing the death, hitting him repeatedly with his bare hands,″ Fabio Mazza, Civitanova Marche’s chief commissioner, told a press conference.
Police used street cameras to track Ferlazzo’s movements before apprehending him. They detained him on suspicion of murder and theft after accusing him of stealing Ogorchukwu’s phone.
Ferlazzo’s girlfriend told the police that he had lost his temper because Ogorchukwu insisted they patronise him.
Daniel Amanza, leader of Association Center Services for Migrants (ACSIM) in the Marche region’s Macerata province, said Ferlazzo had reacted to Ogorchukwu’s compliment.
According to Amanza, Ferlazzo was infuriated when Ogorchukwu said his companion was beautiful.
“This compliment killed him,” Amanza told the Associated Press.
“The tragic fact is that there were many people nearby. They filmed, saying ‘Stop,’ but no one moved to separate them,” Amanza said.
The Nigerian Embassy in Italy described Ogorchukwu’s killing as a ”brutal murder” on a busy street.
Ogorchukwu sold goods on the street after losing his job as a labourer over injuries sustained when a car hit him. He lived in Italy for about 10 years before his death. Two children and Charity Oriachi, his wife, survive him.
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