One of the two Ecuadorian men beaten in Brooklyn while their attackers screamed anti-gay and anti-Hispanic slurs was declared brain died after lingering for several days on life support, according to sources.
Investigators say Jose Sucuzhañay, 31, was walking home with his brother Romel at the intersection of Kossuth Place and Bushwick Avenue early Sunday morning. The two brothers were arm-in-arm and one brother stopped to give the other his coat.
According to police, that's when four men jumped out of a burgundy Ford Explorer and began attacking the brothers.
Police say the men were beaten with a bottle and a baseball bat while the attackers yelled anti-gay and anti-Latino slurs.
Police released Tuesday a sketch of one of the four suspects. He is described as a black male between 18 to 20 years old, and six-feet-tall with a thin build. He was seen wearing a dark baseball bat, black leather jacket, jeans and boots.
Although he was declared brain dead, Jose Sucuzhañay was kept on life support in Elmhurst Hospital. Only when his parents arrived from Ecuador does the family plan to discuss letting him die.
"They were very sad. Both of my parents fainted," said Diego Sucuzhañay, the victim's brother. "And I was the one that was giving them, talking to them very [positively] that my brother was doing okay, but it is time to tell them the truth."
Diego Sucuzhañay said his brother Romel recovered physically, but was still shaken by the attack.
"I think that's the reason he's very nervous. Every time he is mentioning, doing the story of what happened, he starts crying," he said.
A coalition of groups for civil rights and immigrant rights released a statement Tuesday condemning the attack and giving condolences to the Sucuzhañay family.
“It’s not fair that because of the color of your skin, your ethnic background, or your beliefs that you get beaten and killed for no reason whatsoever,“ said Fernando Mateo of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers.
According to NYSFTD, a key witness to the crime is a Hispanic livery cab driver who was initially able to provide officers with a partial license plate for the car involved in the incident.
NYSFTD put out an alert Tuesday for the driver to come forward and provide additional information to police.
Police were still searching Tuesday night for the four attackers.
A $22,000 reward is being offered for information leading to their arrests.
"We really need to bring justice to what happened to Jose and bring closure to the family," said Francisco Moya of the Ecuadorian Civic Committee. "And we also ask if there's any other victims out there that may have been assaulted that night to please come forward. They can probably help in this case."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.