How a baseball bat attack on an African man allegedly led to brutal stabbing death of Ethiopian immigrant - as it's revealed victim's friends recognised family friend among the 13 accused attackers
An African teenager was allegedly stabbed to death in retaliation after a Sudanese man was brutally bashed outside a supermarket five days earlier.
Girum Mekonnen, 19, was playing cards and drinking Coronas with a group of friends atO'Callaghan Park in Brisbane's north on September 13 when three carloads of men allegedly ambushed them.
The men, aged between 18 and 26, allegedly armed withmachetes, baseball bats and kitchen knives, surrounded the group.
The victims were allegedly beaten with bats before being chased and stabbed.
For MrMekonnen, who had dreamed of one day returning toEthiopia to start a business, the attack was fatal.
He died at the scene after being stabbed.
Two female victims later told police they recognised some of their alleged attackers.
One was allegedly Alex Deng, 18, who they had gone to primary school with. There was also allegedly Joseph Lokolong, 24, who they had known since they were children.
The attack came afterJohn Wal, 21, was bashed by a group of youths with baseball bats.
He had been at the Town Square shopping centre at Redbank Plains in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, when he was allegedly set upon by a group on September 8.
A witness told The Australian Mr Wal had tried to flee to Woolworths but the automatic doors did not open fast enough.
Mr Wal, who was just a child when he moved to Australia from Sudan as refugees in 2003, suffered multiple injuries and was rushed to hospital.
Police allege the bashing is what led toMr Mekonnen's death.
Mr Wal's family blamed the group in the north for the random attack.
His brothers, Yohana, 19, Kresto, 24, Gabreal, 27, and Santo, 32, were allegedly part of the convoy who swarmed the park on September 13.
Both men, along with 11 others including Mr Wals four brothers, were later arrested and charged with murder.
Three carloads of men from Redbank Plains parked up at O'Callaghan Park in Zillmere to surprise the group drinking in the sunshine.
Someone in the group had shared a video showing them sitting on the deck of a green building near the North Star Football Club carpark to Snapchat – possibly leading the alleged attackers to them.
Within moments the group were allegedly being ambushed by the men, leaving them with nowhere to run.
All but one of the victims were taken to hospital, some suffering stab wounds.
A group of men were arrested and charged days later.
Police still do not know who killed Mekonnen. According to lawyerBill Potts, when people act in concert and it results in death, everyone can be held responsible.
The men's cases are scheduled for a committal mention in Brisbane Magistrates Court on March 15.