URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – Friends and family gathered in front of the Champaign County courthouse Thursday calling for justice for someone they lost, and an end to violence.
His name is Nzengeli Mfwamba. He was hit in the head with a hammer and stabbed several times outside his home.
Authorities said his daughter’s ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Dominic Fortune, is responsible. It happened at Peppermill Lane and Brookfield Drive just after midnight Wednesday.
Now, we’re learning more about the victim and the disturbing details of that murder.
Fortune had been dating Mfwamba’s daughter and had a child with her. But they broke up, and she even had an order of protection against him. That didn’t end up protecting her or her family when her father was killed.
With shouts of justice, and pleas in their native language. Dozens from the Congolese community gathered in front of the court house, mourning the loss of one of their own.
“We’re here today because we lost our brother, our brother, who was a good man. He’d been here for over 20 years,” Robson Kiynga, the vice president for the Congolese community of Champaign, said.
The prosecutor said before the killing, Fortune had been texting and calling the victim’s daughter. They said she blocked his calls and asked him to stop.
That’s when Fortune drove from Chicago and showed up in her backyard. The prosecution explains the daughter called him and told him to leave.
Mfwamba got home from work and confronted him and told him to leave. They said that’s when Fortune hit him in the head with a hammer and stabbed him several times.
They said later he came into the home with blood on his hands, her father’s phone and keys, and told her he had just killed her father. The prosecution said she panicked and he threatened her and their child.
Fortune started to wash his hands and look for bleach to clean up. He also called his father and uncle during that time. The prosecution said his father then called 911 and told them he believed his son just stabbed his girlfriends’ father.
That’s when police showed up, and after running through several backyards, they eventually arrested him with the help of a K-9 officer.
During all of this, she had an order of protection against Fortune. Courage connection is a resource for domestic violence victims. They said when a victim gets an order of protection, leaves the home, or starts looking for help, that’s when victims are in the most danger.
“That is when the abuser understands that they’re losing control. Domestic violence is all about power and control, and once the abuser knows they’re losing control, that is when it can get really lethal,” Osajuli Cravens, Director of Engagement and Development, said.
Cravens said domestic violence impacts everyone. The abuser, the victim, their family and friends and the entire community.
“It’s always hard to hear of a victim of domestic violence to be taken out by their abuser, and then for a bystander, someone that is caring for, and protecting a victim of domestic violence, and for them to intervene out of love, and then lose their life because of it. It’s extremely hard to hear that as well,” she said.
His family and friends said this should not have happened to Mfwamba.
“He was a man of peace. He wanted his kids and his family to live peacefully,” Kiynga said. “Right now all of our hearts are broken.”
The Champaign County Coroner said the autopsy shows Mfwamba’s cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
Fortune is being charged with four counts of first degree murder. The judge set his bail at five million dollars.