Third teen in custody over deadly hammer attack in St. Louis

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(CNN – Dec. 1, 2014)– A third teen is in custody in connection with the death of a man beaten with hammers on a St. Louis street, and police are looking for a fourth suspect.

Two juveniles — ages 15 and 16 — were arrested Sunday for the attack, which apparently started with a verbal exchanging of words. An investigation is under way.

The third juvenile, a 17-year-old male, turned himself in to police, the St. Louis Police Department said. The 17-year-old on Monday was charged with 1st degree murder and armed criminal action.

The victim, 32-year-old Zemir Begic, suffered injuries to his head, abdomen, face and mouth, according to police.

He was unconscious by the time officers arrived. Begic was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

“Investigation revealed the victim was traveling in his vehicle when several juveniles approached his vehicle on foot and began damaging it.”

“The victim exited his vehicle and the juveniles began yelling at the victim and striking him with hammers. After the assault, the juveniles fled the scene on foot,” read an incident report.

On Monday, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said police are searching for a fourth teen.

The unusual hammer attack raised questions about motive, but there is no indication that this was a targeted crime, Dotson said.

Police have determined that there was a dispute between Begic and his attackers. Begic got in his car and one of the youths kicked his car, Dotson said. At that point, Begic exited the car and the violent assault happened, he said.

CNN’s Mariano Castillo contributed to this report.

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