Italy. Nigerian street vendor killed in broad daylight, sparking national outrage

Alika Ogorchukwu, 39, was chased, beaten with his own crutch and then beaten “to death with his bare hands” while he was on the ground by the attacker, who also stole his mobile phone, Macerata police said.

Video footage of the attack, which took place in the eastern coastal town of Civitanova Marche, was captured by a passerby, but no one was seen physically intervening in any part of the clip.

A woman can be heard shouting “stop, stop immediately” in the video, and a man shouts, “You are killing him”. The footage was released by Italian media after it was shared online.

The incident happened at 2 p.m. Friday on the main central street of Civitanova Marche, Luconi said. Ogorchukwu was found dead at the scene by paramedics, the police statement added on Sunday.

Macerata Police Officer Matteo Luconi told CNN on Monday that the killing “was not racially motivated,” and a police statement on Sunday said it was likely due to “small reasons “.

A 32-year-old Italian citizen, Filippo Ferlazzo, has been arrested for murder and robbery, police said. One of Ferlazzo’s attorneys, Federica Trifoglio, told CNN on Monday that her client has psychiatric issues 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 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 Italian authorities to ensure justice is served and to provide assistance to the victim’s family.

Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity Oriachi, told reporters on Friday that she wanted justice for her husband. “Italy, don’t leave me alone,” she said.

She told reporters that when she last saw her husband on Friday morning, “I gave him a croissant, I said ‘eat this’ to him. I gave him the croissant and I didn’t see him again. Since then, many people came to call me: “Your husband, come! I needed someone with the car and when I arrived in Civitanova, I saw him lying in the street.”

Francesco Mantella, the lawyer representing Ogorchukwu’s wife, Charity, told CNN that Ogorchukwu had been in Italy for about nine years with a regular residence permit and worked as a street vendor.

Ogochukwu was left lame after being hit by a car last year while on his bike. He used a crutch to help him get around, Mantella said.

I sold small things, lighters and tissue paper, the lawyer said. He commuted daily from his home in the small village of San Severino Marche to the larger town of Civitanova Marche, hoping to do better business.

The mayor of Civitanova Marche announced that expenses for Ogorchukwu’s funeral will be paid by the municipality, Mantella said, and a fundraiser has been launched to help his widow and their 8-year-old son.

The killing has rocked the country, where right-wing factions could win increased support in the upcoming elections.

Four years ago, a man draped in an Italian flag shot six African immigrants during a racially motivated attack in Macerata, less than 20 miles from where Ogorchukwu was killed.