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Iowa student dies after brutal beating in which attackers shouted gay slurs

Monday, August 22, 2011

WATERLOO, Iowa — Police have confirmed the death of a 19-year-old college student who was brutally beaten in the early morning hours on Friday, and whose attackers shouted anti-gay slurs and kicked him in the face.

Marcellus Andrews

Marcellus Richard Andrews died on Sunday in the company of relatives and acquaintances after being removed from life support.

Andrews, who was slated to start studying interior design at Hawkeye Community College, spent part of Thursday practicing with members of the Crusaders, a drill team sponsored by Union Missionary Baptist Church. He led the step team for the group, which was days away from competing in March Against Darkness.

Night found him at Nakita Wright’s home on Cottage Street.

She said the problems started at about 12:45 a.m. Friday when she and Tudia Simpson, her cousin, went for a walk down the street. Andrews opted to stay behind, waiting on the enclosed porch, she said.

The two women hadn’t made it as far as Adams Street a block away when they heard yelling back at the house. They ran back and found a truck stopped in the street, and the occupants were taunting Andrews, calling him “faggot” and “Mercedes,” a feminization of his first name, Simpson said.

[...]

From there, the fight was on, with Nakita Wright and the others joining in, according to their account.

At some point during the scuffle, Nakita Wright felt her leg brush against something on the ground. She looked down and saw Andrews.

“I tried to help him up, and then this boy ran back and kicked him in his face,” Nakita Wright said.

After the brawl ended, she tried helping Andrews to his feet. He appeared dazed. She grabbed one arm and coaxed him as she lifted. He pushed up with his other arm, but then gave up.

Full story: WCF Courier

Police and paramedics were called to the scene, and found Andrews with severe head trauma — he was airlifted to a local hospital.

Authorities are investigating the assault, and so far no arrests have been made.

A memorial page on Facebook has been established in Andrews’ memory.

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Filed under: Iowa

75 more reader comments:

  1. R.I P young man you are welcome into God’s loving arms

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:40pm
  2. Another senseless death!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:41pm
  3. this breaks my heart </3

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:41pm
  4. HORRIBLE!!! This needs to end. I can’t stand reading these stories anymore. It’s so senseless. When will we come to a time of tolerance for those different from ourselves?

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:41pm
  5. RIP loved one, you did not die in vain and may you find peace and freedom in the next life.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:43pm
  6. Wish I could hear good news -_-

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:43pm
  7. Awe :(

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:43pm
  8. Violence only makes things worse but it’s about time someone started fighting back. Talking doesn’t seem to be working. This needs to end but I really fear that it never will…

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:43pm
  9. R.I.P. may your death not be in vain and one day end this useless brutality

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:43pm
  10. Love and prayers to your family young man. You did not deserve the hate that was shown to you. I am so sorry. God Bless you and RIP.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:44pm
  11. how many people have to die before things are changed?

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:44pm
  12. Do you really think that this was worth someone dying for, not freedom, not money, not a piece of land, but because someone was gay. How do you justify this. Because of hatred, have we not sat back and watched how black people have suffered through the years from this hatred, that we will sit back and watch gays go through this. As a human being, why are WE all not outraged at this.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:44pm
  13. Karma will catch up to those cowards some day.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:44pm
  14. D: that is HORRIBLE

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:44pm
  15. It’s so sad that so many must die to bring attention to this horrific treatment. RIP beautiful boy.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:45pm
  16. “…authorities are investigating the assualt, but so far no arrests have been made.” I seriously doubt that any concerted effort is being made to bring justice to a gay, black boy in white-bred Iowa.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:46pm
  17. So sad.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:46pm
  18. RIP :’(

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:48pm
  19. Very sad indeed!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:49pm
  20. This is sad and horrifying!!! Why?? WHY???? How many more??? This is disgusting!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:50pm
  21. Sad very sad!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:50pm
  22. If these innocent futures are being taken away from these innocent people, the same thing should happen to the ones that take their lives away. Bastards. -_-

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:51pm
  23. i don’t understand how humans could be this horrible. im disgusted. rest in peace hun

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:52pm
  24. Sad and senseless! Wondering how much this was fueled by the recent straw poll and the anti-gay bull espoused by many of the candidates?

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:53pm
  25. This is heartbreaking.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 5:54pm
  26. :( may he rest in peace

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:00pm
  27. Those attackers are monsters, senseless and inhuman.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:01pm
  28. I Am Sickened By This! This Act Of Hate & Brutality just Goes to Show America Still Has a Lot to Learn About Gay People or Even Straight People who Are Sometimes “Percieved” to be “Gay”. For All the Advancements We Acheive, This Is a Constant “Reminder” That Stigma & Bullying of SomeOne Simply because They’re “Different” & Themselves, Is a Step back & SHAME for AMERICA In This Day & Age. So SADD! RIP My Brother~Ur Persecutors Will Be “Avenged” Soon!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:01pm
  29. So sad. Poor kid!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:06pm
  30. RIP

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:14pm
  31. RIP YOU POOR SOUL!!!!!!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:16pm
  32. That’s absolutely heartless and shows *no* respect whatsoEVER for the human race….

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:19pm
  33. Apparently the only way this insanity will stop is when the punishment more than fits the crime. Absolutely disgusting and heartbreaking. THIS MUST STOP!!!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:19pm
  34. sad :(

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:23pm
  35. THIS IS TOTALLY APPALLING AND TOTALLY NOT ACCEPTABLE! I DEMAND JUSTICE NOW FOR THE FAMILY AND THE VICTIM!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:26pm
  36. This beyond sad it needs to stop there needs to be laws this murder plain and simple!!!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:31pm
  37. Id like 2 handle the pple who hurt this poor kid…I kick ass for a living (an armed guard) let’s do this…

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:33pm
  38. dislike*

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:38pm
  39. This is so heartbreaking. I don’t understand why people do this.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:39pm
  40. My heart breaks as I read this. To think that in 2011, we still have to fight for our right to live boggles my mind and simply terrifies me. I hope his family can one day find peace. R.I.P sweet prince, the world will miss you!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:42pm
  41. I am so sorry. Rest in Peace.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:43pm
  42. Was he gay? I haven’t bothered reading the whole thing, but the headline says shouting ‘gay slurs’

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:52pm
  43. No doubt the heterosexual male or males were themselves closet cases. Why don’t all homophobes just come out already? Their macho mentality is “lf they can’t fuck or rape someone they kill them.Hope Karma gets them soon.R.I.P.my brother.:(

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:53pm
  44. This is such a sad story…we should be beyond this GOD INDUCED HATE!!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:53pm
  45. this dont make no damn sense!!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:56pm
  46. ~Praying for his family!!!!!!!!~

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:57pm
  47. This is so sad.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:11pm
  48. RIP… my condolences and prayers are with the family and friends….my heart goes out to them..

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:24pm
  49. These thugs and bullies need to be punished! Enough of this!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 7:44pm
  50. Condolences to Andrew’s family and friends. When these senseless crimes stop, all people will be free to live their lives as human beings and not be treated like animals.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 8:04pm
  51. I am sorry that there are still ignorant people in the world and you just happened upon them. Rest in peace.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 8:21pm
  52. This almost happened to me on my campus U.N.C. Here in Colorado. The GREELEY police refused to file anything but a report of violence. I told them where my attackers lived and they told me” I needed their names” and witnesses.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 8:29pm
  53. This is an outrage! In my many many years of life and service to the gay community I have seen too many of our members killed for nothing more than a simple kiss or holding hands or just for walking down the street. When I lived in the Tenderloin in San Francisco in the ’80′s there was a TS being killed every week for more than 7 months. They never interviewed anyone I talked to, not even the last people to have seen the girls alive. Was it any wonder they never found the murderer?

    I pray this you man’s killers are found and brought to justice! THIS MUST END!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:09pm
  54. Simple terminate the lives of these worthless punks who attacked this young adult….I think it is fine…you do something like and a person dies you do not deserve to be alive…you have taken something that did not belong to you…you are not worth having around anymore….could care less what those worthless less than men’s parent think….it is not their fault their child is a killer…simple don’t waste money on jail inject ‘em and work with kids who want better in their lives/

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:28pm
  55. Apparently the consequenses for their actions isn’t enough to deter them from this kind of behavior! Time to step it up and get same laws in place that actually STOP THIS! I’m so SICK of people getting away with MURDER… LITERALLY!!!
    You murder someone, you get the same- end of discussion!

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 9:42pm
  56. Absolutely heartbreaking to say the very least, my heart goes out to the family and friends of this young man.

    Something has got to be done to let more youth know that this sort of unprovoked violence is never a good thing and additionally society as a whole needs to be educated more so that they will embrace people’s differences, instead of seeing someone gay or trans… or even someone simply perceived as being one or the other a target of hate.

    Posted on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 10:54pm
  57. I am greatly saddened and angered that in this day and time such cowardly actions ended the life of this young man. I pray that the conscious of the responsible parties burn until they turn themselves in. They eyes of the Lord are in every place and there s nowhere, not even in death, that they can hide. I pray the comfort that only God can provide cover the family, church, and friends connected with this young man.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 3:32am
  58. As we gain more and more of our civil rights, things are going to get worse before they get better…history has told us this. We just have to hang together (as in, accepting each other, no matter if we are bi, gay, trans, intersexed, etc) and hang tough.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 3:45am
  59. Jordan, it doesn’t matter whether he was actually gay or not. It shouldn’t have happened anyway.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 4:06am
  60. Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and other hatemongers like you, this young man’s blood and the blood of others like him are on your hands. These young people didn’t just come up with this on their own. Someone had to have taught it to them.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 4:08am
  61. This is very sad! My condolences goes out to the family. :(

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:06am
  62. The level of hate and intolerance from the far right has been so heightened in Iowa with the constant presence of presidential candidates like Bachmann and Santorum in Iowa. Waterloo is the hometown of Michele Bachmann and she is constantly visiting there spewing her venom. Its no surprise that the words finally turn to violence. Make no mistake this kind of violence is a direct result of these politicians spreading their anti-gay language and messages for political purposes.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:39am
  63. How it is that somebody can hurt somebody else so easily is something that will never get through my mind.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:44am
  64. @Carolyn, your suggestion that justice won’t be met in Iowa because it is mostly white is not well founded and unfair to most of us in Iowa. You do remember that it was Iowa who dared to be the first state to vote for Obama in the primaries and then again for President.

    There is also more to this story that is untold. The perpetrators of this attack were black and it occurred in a predominantly black neighborhood. The black churches in Iowa also bear considerable responsibility for the hate and intolerance of gays. The head of the NAACP in Iowa is one of the most vocal active opponents to same sex marriage in Iowa and constantly spew vile anti-gay words. The horrible irony is that this young man was very active in his own church.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:49am
  65. Same sex marriage has been now legal in Iowa for almost three years and during that time we have been deluged by hate mongers from out of state. Just two weeks ago NOM (National Organization for Marriage) brought their bus of hate to Iowa and held events in 30 Iowa cities. There following is small but their hate is intense and filled with the animus that violence ends is predictable.

    We have been winning the battle against them and marriage freedom is alive and well in Iowa (the only state outside of New England) but we are paying a high price for that freedom.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:55am
  66. The perpetrators I have no doubt will be brought to justice, but they will NOT be sentenced to death in Iowa. We abolished the death penalty in Iowa over 60 years ago and there are few in this state who support bringing it back. It is the same high moral ethos of the majority of Iowans that legalize marriage freedom and vote for a black man for President that also abhors killing even by its government.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 7:01am
  67. this is such a sad case among many other sad cases when will the violence cease

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 7:57am
  68. very sad news. This just seems like such a waste of a life . . .

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 2:29pm
  69. How sick that this happen to a young man will had goals. Hope the killers are found and put in prison for the rest of their lives. Someone know who did it and should call the police. If not, they should go to jail with these evil people that killed Andrew. May him rest in piece.

    Posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 7:48pm
  70. How sad in this day and age that some parents have raised their children to hate others without just cause. If we don’t break this unbased cycle of hatred in our homes; we will can not progress to realize all human’s basic rights of equality. As a Mother of a gay Son in Iowa of about the same age; this horrific action of needlessly killing an innocent young Man scares me that such animals still roam our streets. My deepest sympathcies go out to this young Man’s Family and Friends. I thought Iowa was so progressive having passed the Same Sex Marriage Bill 3 years ago, however actions such as this have set us back to the Stone Age!

    Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 5:01am
  71. The arguing and name calling continued, said Simpson, who admitted throwing the first punch, striking a girl.

    “She kept saying it, and I hit her,” Simpson said.

    From there, the fight was on, with Nakita Wright and the others joining in, according to their account.

    this is the part you left out. By leaving it out you changed the whole flavor of the article.

    Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 at 5:34am
  72. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family and friends. I hope the family gets justice.
    RIP Marcellus.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 at 1:27pm
  73. The poor old gays. It does seem as if they attract the lowest form of life all the way down from second rate politicians to thugs in the street. The more I experience of this foul little planet the more I wonder what I’m doing here. Sixty five years I can find very little good to say about it or the force that created it. One thing I would like to understand is ‘why do they (the gays) want to get married?’, Marriage is such a disgraced institution when you look at the divorce rate, adultery and the cost to the state when people who can’t afford children never the less have them and claim benifit. When viewed objectively, why would gay people want to have anything to do with it, why not just live together in private. I would never get married if I had my time again. And as for the man in the video clip condemning the gay lifestyle (fancy a politician having the cheek to condemn anyones lifestyle) I have this to say,heterosexual marriage is no joy for many of us, I have twice caught infections from my constantly disloyal partner so stop trying the scare monger tactic I wasn’t born yesterday even if your supporters were.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:50pm
  74. They’ve probably done minimal raising in the first place. Don’t forget these stinking kids are the product of ‘GOOD CLEAN AMERICAN HETEROSEXUALS’ as the fool in the video clip would probably say.

    Posted on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 5:56pm
  75. sadly i think so too =(

    Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 6:00am