A Moroccan migrant has admitted to murdering Italian man Stefano Leo, claiming that he wanted to kill someone “young, white and Italian.”
Said Mechaout, 27, born in Morocco but a naturalised Italian citizen, confessed to the killing, which occurred on the banks of the river Po in Turin on February 23rd, claiming he had purposely been waiting to kill a white Italian near his own age, Il Giornale reports.
“I hit a white, based on the obvious fact that a young Italian would have caused a sensation,” he allegedly told police.
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“I looked at him and I was sure he was Italian. I wanted to kill a guy like me, take away all the promises he had, children, remove him from his friends and relatives,” Mechaout said.
The Moroccan-born young man then described the attack to police saying, “I sat on a bench. I smoked a couple of cigarettes. People were passing by. I chose that place because you can run away immediately.”
He added that he had been looking for someone “happy” to kill when Stefano Leo passed by him wearing headphones and sunglasses. As Leo walked up the stairs to the street, Mechaout stabbed him in the throat.
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“I saw that he was trying to breathe. He collapsed after making the stairs, trying to get some air. He knelt and then fell to the ground,” the Moroccan said.
More than a month after the killing, Mechaout turned himself in to police saying that voices in his head had told him to kill again. He also told investigators the murder weapon had come from a set of knives he had bought at a discount shop.
Italian investigators say that Mechaout had a son with a girl in Turin who had recently left him and that he was possibly motivated out of despair at his situation, along with not having a permanent job.
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The brutal murder specifically targetting a white Italian comes only weeks after a Senegalese migrant attempted to kill 50 Italian children by setting a school bus on fire to take revenge for migrants drowned in the Mediterranean sea.
The murder also comes after two high-profile murders of Italian teen girls Pamela Mastropietro, who was murdered and dismembered, allegedly by Nigerian migrant drug dealers, and Desirée Mariottini, who was found dead after sexual abuse and a drug overdose with prosecutors believing migrants to have murdered her as well.