Teenager, 19, stabbed to death during wild brawl between feuding African gangs in 'revenge attack'

Teenager, 19, stabbed to death during wild brawl between feuding African gangs in ‘revenge attack’ that left two other clinging to life is identified and remembered as a ‘humble, sweet character’

  • Girum Mekonnen, 19, died at the scene of the melee which left ten injured
  • Police were called to O’Callaghan Park at about 5.35pm on Sunday evening 
  • Another victim of the attack is on life support and will undergo surgery
  • At hospital at 10pm, an altercation broke out between the victims’ families 

A teenager who was stabbed to death when two gangs violently clashed in a Brisbane park has been remembered as a ‘humble’ and ‘sweet’ man who loved basketball.

The brawl between the groups of African youths began at about 5.30pm at O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere, in the city’s northern suburbs, on Sunday.

Girum Mekonnen, 19, died at the scene of the melee which left ten injured with two others clinging to life in hospital.

Girum Mekonnen (pictured), 19, died at the scene of the melee which left ten injured with two others clinging to life in hospital

Girum Mekonnen (pictured), 19, died at the scene of the melee which left ten injured with two others clinging to life in hospital

A friend who attended Kedron State High School with the victim said he was a ‘humble, sweet character’ who enjoyed playing basketball at lunch.

‘I don’t even want to imagine what his family are going through right now,’ they told The Courier Mail.

A loved one said Mr Mekonnen was ‘someone I will never forget’. 

Another victim of the attack, which involved baseball bats and knives, is on life support and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. 

A number of people sustained wounds during the attack. Pictured: Family members of victims at the hospital

A number of people sustained wounds during the attack. Pictured: Family members of victims at the hospital

Locals of the northern Brisbane suburb said they heard the sound of breaking bottles and saw ‘bodies on the ground just lying there,’ the publication reported.  

The witness said he saw one of the men on top of the other while stabbing him, before taking off when he saw the neighbour.   

Another bystander said she saw a group of men walking near the park wearing black hooded jumpers and masks.

When emergency workers arrived at the scene, ‘a number of people who had sustained wounds,’ Queensland police said in a statement.

‘A man died at the while ten others are being treated in hospital for various injuries.’

Police believe the stoush was vengeance for an attack at nearby Redbank Plains on September 8 when a 21-year-old Sudanese man was beaten with a baseball bat outside a Woolworths. 

Family members gathered at the hospital

Some were 'animated' that their loved ones were in hospital

Some family members who went to visit their injured loved ones in hospital were aggressive. Pictured: Friends and family members outside the hospital

Detective Superintendent Tony Fleming said there was a ‘disturbance’ at the Royal Brisbane And Women’s Hospital involving families of the victims at about 10pm.  

Police then forcibly restrained at least one person after a second altercation broke out after 11pm at the same hospital.

‘I can only imagine that as a parent or as a sibling that that would cause angst in my mind if it was someone that I loved,’ Mr Flemming added.

‘But going off is not going to solve the problem. Retribution is not going to solve the problem. We’ve seen that in societies around the world where it becomes tit-for-tat – it doesn’t end well for anyone.’ 

Police investigations are ongoing.

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