A third suspect was arrested in a vicious hammer attack that left one man dead on a St. Louis street early Sunday morning, police said. Robert Mitchell, 17, has been charged with murder in the first degree and armed criminal action after turning himself into investigators Sunday evening.
Mitchell and a group of juveniles approached Zemir Begic, 32, while he was driving and began to damage his car, according to police. Begic got out of the car – and that’s when they began to yell and attack him with hammers.
Officers found Begic unconscious on the 4200 block of Itaska street at approximately 1:15 a.m. ET. He suffered injuries to his head, abdomen, face, and mouth. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said.
Police arrested two other teenagers — a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old male — in connection with the attack on Sunday. They will be tried in juvenile court, but could be certified as adults for having been accused of a serious crime. Mitchell will automatically be tried as an adult under Missouri law. Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the attack, said Leah Freeman, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Police do not believe Begic's Bosnian heritage was a motive for the attack.
Authorities also do not believe the attack was related to the recent unrest surrounding a grand jury decision not to indict former Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Freeman said.