Hate Crime

Gay Russian TikTok star found brutally murdered in friend’s home

TikTok Screenshot

Russian Instagram and TikTok star Ali Zabirov–better known by his stage name Egor Gromov–has been murdered in a possible hate crime.

The Daily Star reports that body of the 23-year-old Zabriov was found in the apartment of a friend laying face down on a pillow on August 2. Lacerations to the body and bruising around the neck indicated that an unknown assailant beat and strangled him to death.

At the moment, police in St. Petersberg, Russia suspect that the owner of the flat who reported the crime may have also committed the murder. According to the flat owner, Zabriov had come to his home the night before to borrow money and stay the night. The next morning, he discovered Zabriov’s body and suspected he may have died of a drug overdose. The owner of the flat then notified police.

“I tried to wake him up,” the flat owner told  5-TV News. “I called the police myself. What could I do? If I knew that he was going to die here, would I let him in or what?”

Law enforcement, on the other hand, has an alternative theory in mind. Police speculate that Zabriov may have come on to his friend, and that the flat owner had a violent reaction. Police have arrested the flat owner on suspicion of murder.
Zabriov, under his moniker Egor Gromov, attracted a broad social media following, and never hid the fact that he was gay. Living an authentic life in the homophobic nation of Russia also made Zabriov the target of homophobic harassment.
At the time of this writing, police have not revealed the identity of the suspect in question.