The death of an 18-year-old Guatemalan immigrant in Jupiter, Florida, has been called a hate crime by the police chief of the town.
Jupiter police say Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos became the victim of the violent robbery and murder because of his ethnicity. On April 18, Lopez-Ramos, his brother and his friend were sitting outside when five men approached them to talk. The friendly conversation soon turned violent, and Lopez-Ramos and his friend began running from the men. One of the suspects bashed Lopez-Ramos' head with a rock and killed him, the Sun Sentinel reports.
The probable cause report notes that the suspects appeared to be laughing while "hunting" for Guatemalans, a practice called "Guat hunting."
"We have a premeditated crime and you are targeting your victim based on ethnicity in this case and other factors down the road... but in this particular case, they specifically targeted the Hispanic community," Jupiter Police Chief Frank J. Kitzerow said in a press conference.
NBC Latino reports that the department took three suspects into custody on Friday: David M. Harris, 19, Jessie Harris, 18, and Austin L. Taggart, 19. Police are pursuing first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon charges. The suspects are being held at the Palm Beach County Jail without bail.