Spain’s national police force has arrested three suspects in connection to the death of a young gay man, Samuel Luiz.
Luiz, a 24-year-old nursing assistant, died after more than a dozen people attacked him outside a nightclub in A Coruña, Galicia, in the early hours of Saturday (3 June).
The suspects, aged between 20 and 25 years old, are the “alleged perpetrators of the violent attack that ended the life of Samuel Luiz”. Police sources told El País that two of the suspects are men while one is a woman, all residents of A Coruña.
Policía Nacional added that the investigation into the incident remains ongoing and it did not rule out further arrests.
Interior minister Fernando Grande-Larlaska told the Spanish news agency EFE that officers have not yet figured out the group’s motivation for the killing, with disputes over whether the attack was fuelled by homophobia.
It comes after the authorities said earlier this week that as many as 15 witnesses have already given statements about the crime.
What happened to Samuel Luiz?
As Pride Month drew to a close, Samuel Luiz and his friend Lina were at Andén, a beachside pub and club, when they decided to video call a mutual friend.
Friends told El Mundo that Luiz had stepped out to make the call when two passersby, one man and one woman, accused him of recording them. Before he could even clarify, they set upon him.
All the while his friend, Vanesa, was still on the line.
“The video was blocked, but the audio kept playing and I did not know what exactly was happening,” she told El Mundo.
“I only heard the blows and Lina shouting: ‘Leave him, he’s my friend, please leave him!'”
They stopped only when another bystander stepped in, they said. Luiz had dropped his mobile phone during the fight, which Lina went to look for.
Five minutes later, one of the attackers returned with 12 men who beat Luiz unconscious.
Police described the attack as a “human pack kicking a youngster for more than 150 metres down a street”, between the club and 2 Buenos Aires Avenue.
Luiz then “fell to the ground, as if he were dead”, the source added. Around six to 10 people continued to kick him. “They showed him no mercy,” they said.
Luiz died later that morning in the hospital.