Anowar Tagabo, 25, was savagely attacked by a group of men and women in a city centre street in the early hours of Sunday, May 25 as he made his way between bars with another man.
Just hours earlier he had attended a wedding but as the celebrations continued, the Bradford University student was confronted by his attackers. He suffered a serious head injury in the resulting violence while the man he was with was chased away.
Although Mr Tagabo was immediately rushed to hospital for treatment, he died nine days after the attack in Sheffield.
Detective Chief Inspector Natalie Shaw of South Yorkshire Police is heading up a 20-strong team to investigate the student’s murder.
“His family is devastated because he had come to the UK for a better life but it has ended in tragedy,” she said.
CCTV cameras captured footage of him and another man – who has yet to be identified but who had been with Mr Tagabo in the bars – jogging between drinking establishments to avoid rain at around 4.20am on the day of the attack, police said.
Further recordings shot from elsewhere in the city centre are now being analysed by police in a bid to identify members of the group who were involved in the fatal confrontation.
DCI Shaw said Mr Tagabo was in Sheffield for a community wedding, where he was representing his family.
“He had also arranged to meet a friend for a night out in Sheffield city centre, and the pair had gone into various bars. His friend went home but Anowar remained out with another man who they had been with on their night out.
“They were last seen jogging down Carver Street to avoid the rain, and then there was a group of males and females on the corner with Division Street.
“Words were exchanged and someone attacked Anowar and he fell to the ground. The other man he was with was chased away by a member of the group.”
She said a number of people must have witnessed the attack.
“There are definitely people who will have seen this – we can see from CCTV footage that there were a lot of people in the area at the time. They need to come forward because, however small or insignificant they think the information they have is, it may help us form a full picture.” She added: “We don’t know the reason for the attack.”
Mr Tagabo was a first year student of Peace and Development Studies at the University of Bradford and one of his course mates Youssef Al-Manea spoke yesterday of his shock at what had happened.
“He was a really, really nice fella, very kind and got along with people,” Mr Al-Manea said.
“He had lots of friends and was always going out and socialising.
“I’m struggling to manage to see just how he got into trouble, all I can imagine is it was completely unprovoked. He was so kind and I’m just so shocked.
“During the exam period we got really close. He told me he had studied in Leeds last year and before that he had stayed in France for a few years, where he has relatives.
“He came over here for a better life, but I don’t think he’s been in England for more than two or three years.”
The University of Bradford said it was “extremely saddened” to hear of the young man’s death, confirming that he had family in Chad, Central Africa.
A University spokesman said: “The University of Bradford are assisting South Yorkshire Police with their investigation. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”
Anyone with information about the attack should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 281 of May 25, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.