Funeral set in Waterloo for hammer beating victim - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Funeral set in Waterloo for hammer beating victim

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Zemir Begic (Photos courtesy Facebook) Zemir Begic (Photos courtesy Facebook)
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

The funeral for a man allegedly murdered by teens wielding hammers will be held in Waterloo.

Zemir Begic was killed in a predominantly Bosnian neighborhood of St. Louis. Witnesses said several teens approached the car with hammers, beating on the car until Zemir got out. Then, the teens are accused of attacking him, and beating him to death.

The funeral will be Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Kearns Funeral Service Kimball Chapel in Waterloo, according to Begic. It will be open to the public.

Kearns could not be immediately reached for confirmation of services.

Zemir grew up in Waterloo, and still has family in the area.

His cousin, Amra Begic, called the beating a hate crime, because two of the teens arrested are black, and one is Hispanic. One teen has been charged with first degree murder. Police are searching for a fourth person accused of participating.

Police believe the crime was not racially motivated, and that Zemir was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Still, his death sparked protests from the Bosnian community in St. Louis, and brought about the hashtag #BosnianLivesMatter, which parallels the #BlackLivesMatter movement that followed the shooting death of Mike Brown at the hands of a Ferguson police officer.

A GoFundMe account looking to raise $15,000 to cover the funeral services has already raised more than $32,000.

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