The savage death of a young Scottish man has left thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook angered and distraught.
The body of Stuart Walker was found brutally beaten and burned near the side of a road at about 5 a.m. Saturday morning in Ayrshire, Scotland, reported the Daily Record, a Scottish newspaper.
Although police have not released many details about the murder or the motive, police told the Daily Record that he may have been targeted because he was gay.
Detective John Hogg, of Strathclyde Police, told BBC News that he was waiting to draw conclusions. “Until we know the exact circumstances surrounding this murder, we will not rule anything out and will keep an open mind on any possible motive for his terrible crime. There have also been reports that Mr Walker was tied to a post, this is not the case."
The fact that police have not yet determined the motive for Walker’s murder didn’t stop Twitter users from making it the focal point of thousands of tweets mourning the young man. (His age was reported as both 28 and 29 in different media.) Since about 1 a.m. ET, Walker has been a worldwide trending topic and has collected more than 41,000 mentions, according to statistics from Topsy, a social media search engine.
“What is this world coming to...it’s horrifying,” tweeted josh Porter (@joshporter14).
“This is genuinely sickening, whoever did this must be an animal to set a man alight purely because of who he was born,” tweeted @nicksavedmylife.
A Facebook page created in Walkers memory has collected more than 6,000 likes and hundreds of comments from people paying their respects.
“I am so sad and shocked at what has happened. I hope the people who have done such a dreadful act will rot in hell. RIP Stuart Walker,” wrote Farzy Dickson. “I am so very sorry and hope your family will have strength to carry on. i just hope one day we will get rid of ignorance in this world.”