An international student from Saudi Arabia studying at the University of Wisconsin-Stout died after being attacked in downtown Menomonie, Wisconsin, according to police.
Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, 24, was assaulted early Sunday morning outside Topper’s Pizza by a suspect described as a 6-foot-tall white male, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
Alnahdi was found unconscious and bleeding from his mouth and nose by police shortly after the incident.
He was transported to Mayo Health System in Menomonie, then taken to Mayo Health System in Eau Claire, where he died from his injuries on Monday, police said.
Alnahdi was from Buraydah, Saudi Arabia, and came to the U.S. to study business administration at UW-Stout in 2015, according to the university.
In a statement, UW-Stout Chancellor Bob Meyer said, “Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to Hussain’s family in Buraydah, Saudi Arabia, and his friends at UW-Stout.”
Meyer also called for action to anyone on campus or in the community who has information about the incident to contact the authorities.
Many classmates and faculty members showed their outrage and condolences on Twitter.
Some students are even troubled by the fact that this incident has not been deemed a hate crime yet.
“I just want our Saudi students to know that they are wanted, they are a deeply important part of this community, they’ve valued, and we’ll do everything we can to keep them safe,” said Emi Etuemke, an assistant professor at UW-Stout, to WEAU-TV.
Police said Monday that the motive for the attack is unclear, but they are treating it as a homicide and will continue to monitor surveillance camera’s from other businesses in the area.
Erik Atkinson, the town’s chief of police, told NBC that authorities will “not dismiss that this could be a hate crime.”
In an effort to find the assailant, the city of Menomonie and University of Wisconsin-Stout established a reward for $15,000 for any information leading to the arrest of Alnahdi’s attacker. According to the UW-Stout website, the reward is administered through the Community Foundation of Dunn County and will be funded privately through donations. No tax dollars will be involved.
The Council on American Islamic Relations also put a $5,000 reward for more information to bring Alnahdi’s assailant to justice.
Chancellor Meyer organized a memorial service for friends and classmates to reflect and remember Hussain Alnahdi .
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