Friends verify Iowa teen was gay, cops still unsure if beating death was hate crime
August 23, 2011 | 2:01 pm
(Updated: January 30, 2013 | 6:02 pm)
A CBS affiliate in Iowa has confirmed that the Iowa teen beaten to death by a crowd shouting anti-gay slurs on Friday was gay.
News updates report that friends of 19-year-old Marcellus Andrews suggested Andrews’ sexual orientation is the reason a group of youths drove up in a pickup truck, began shouting “faggot,” and got into a physical fight after two of Andrews’ friends arrived. Andrews, who was initially alone on a friend’s front porch, was knocked down and kicked in the head, and died of injuries in a hospital.
Police, however, are seeking more information before concluding the incident was a hate crime. They say there was “bad blood” between Andrews and the other group involved in the fight and that the groups simply happened upon each other before the fight.
Andrews had been with his Friend Nakita Wright, and her cousin Trudia Simpson, early Friday morning before 1 when the two girls left for a walk, then heard shouting behind them. They ran back to confront the group that had driven up shouting at Andrews; Simpson threw the first punch that started a chaotic brawl.
Police believe they have identified the attackers but have not yet made arrests. Meanwhile, Andrews’ friends and the church community Andrews was deeply involved in are mourning, and condemning the attack. A Facebook Page has been set up in Andrews’ memory.