Baseball bat attack on an African man allegedly led to brutal stabbing death

Baseball bat attack on an African man allegedly led to brutal stabbing death

Girum Mekonnen, 19, (pictured) was playing cards and drinking Corona's with a group of friends at O'Callaghan Park in Brisbane's north on September 13 when three carloads of men allegedly ambushed them

Girum Mekonnen, 19, (pictured) was playing cards and drinking Corona’s with a group of friends at O’Callaghan Park in Brisbane’s north on September 13 when three carloads of men allegedly ambushed them 

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 at O’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 with machetes, baseball bats and kitchen knives, surrounded the group.

The victims were allegedly beaten with bats before being chased and stabbed.

For Mr Mekonnen, who had dreamed of one day returning to Ethiopia 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 after John Wal, 21, was bashed by a group of youths with baseball bats.

Mr Mekonnen (pictured) died at the scene from a stab wound. Multiple people have been charged with his murder

Mr Mekonnen (pictured) died at the scene from a stab wound. Multiple people have been charged with his murder

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 to Mr 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.

Girum Mekonnen, 19, (pictured) was fatally stabbing during the attack, which happened after John Wal, 21, was bashed by a group of youths with baseball bats

Girum Mekonnen, 19, (pictured) was fatally stabbing during the attack, which happened after John Wal, 21, was bashed by a group of youths with baseball bats

A police officer gathers crime scene tape near a small memorial where flowers were laid at the site of a fatal stabbing

A police officer gathers crime scene tape near a small memorial where flowers were laid at the site of a fatal stabbing

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 lawyer Bill 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. 

A man covers his head (pictured) as he is driven into the Brisbane Watchhouse  in relation to the alleged murder

A man covers his head (pictured) as he is driven into the Brisbane Watchhouse  in relation to the alleged murder

The scene of a fatal stabbing and brawl at, O'Callaghan Park in Zillmere, Brisbane, Monday, September 14

The scene of a fatal stabbing and brawl at, O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere, Brisbane, Monday, September 14

Top Stories