Alika Ogorchukva, 39, was harassed and beaten his own crutch and then beaten “to death with bare hands” when the assailant, who also stole his mobile phone, Macerata police said.
Video footage of the attack, which took place in the east coast town of Civitanova Marche, was filmed by a passer-by, but in one part of the clip no one physically intervened.
In the video, a woman can be heard shouting “Stop, stop immediately” and a man shouting “You’re killing him.” The footage was released by Italian media after it was posted online.
According to Lukoni, the incident occurred on Friday at 14:00 on the main central street of Civitanova Marche. Ogorchukwu was found dead at the scene by paramedics, according to a police statement released on Sunday.
Macerata police officer Matteo Luconi told CNN on Monday that the killing “was not racially motivated,” while a police statement on Sunday said it was likely due to “petty causes.”
Police said 32-year-old Italian citizen Filippo Ferlazzo was arrested for murder and robbery. One of Ferlazzo’s lawyers, Federica Trifoglio, told CNN on Monday that his client has mental health problems and they intend to file a psychiatric report.
The Nigerian embassy in Rome condemned the killing, saying “the incident took place on a busy street and in front of shocked onlookers, some of whom filmed the attack with little or no attempt to prevent it.”
The embassy said it was working with the Italian authorities to ensure justice and help the victim’s family.
Ogorchukwu’s wife Charity Oriachi told reporters on Friday that she wants justice for her husband. “Italy, don’t leave me alone,” she said.
She told reporters that the last time she saw her husband on Friday morning: “I gave him a croissant, told him to “eat this.” I gave him a croissant and haven’t seen him since. Then a lot of people called me: – Your husband, go! I needed someone with a car, and when I arrived in Civitanova I saw him lying on the street.”
Francesco Mantella, a lawyer representing Ogorchukwu’s wife Charity, told CNN that Ogorchukwu had lived in Italy for about nine years with a regular residence permit and worked as a street vendor.
Ogochukwu was limping after he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle last year. According to Mantella, he used a crutch to get around.
According to the lawyer, he sold small items, lighters and tissue paper. Every day he traveled from his home in the small village of San Severino Marche to the larger city of Civitanova Marche, hoping to achieve better business results.
The mayor of Civitanova Marche announced that Ogorchukvu’s funeral costs would be paid by the municipality, Mantella said, and a fundraiser began to help his widow and their 8-year-old son.
The assassination shocked the country, where right-wing groups could gain more support in the upcoming elections.