Europe

Chinese community angry by mugged student's death in Rome

  • Chinese community mourners lay flowers and candles to remember 20-year-old Chinese aspiring fashion designer, Zhang Yao, 20, arrived in the Italian capital from her homeland, China, in March to attend Rome’s Academy of the Fine Arts, and found dead last Friday in the Tor Sapienza area of Rome, during a commemoration Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (Domenico Palesse/ANSA via AP)

    Chinese community mourners lay flowers and candles to remember 20-year-old Chinese aspiring fashion designer, Zhang Yao, 20, arrived in the Italian capital from her homeland, China, in March to attend Rome’s Academy of the Fine Arts, and found dead last Friday in the Tor Sapienza area of Rome, during a commemoration Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (Domenico Palesse/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chinese community mourners lay flowers and candles to remember 20-year-old Chinese aspiring fashion designer, Zhang Yao, 20, arrived in the Italian capital from her homeland, China, in March to attend Rome’s Academy of the Fine Arts, and found dead last Friday in the Tor Sapienza area of Rome, during a commemoration Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (Domenico Palesse/ANSA via AP)

    Chinese community mourners lay flowers and candles to remember 20-year-old Chinese aspiring fashion designer, Zhang Yao, 20, arrived in the Italian capital from her homeland, China, in March to attend Rome’s Academy of the Fine Arts, and found dead last Friday in the Tor Sapienza area of Rome, during a commemoration Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. (Domenico Palesse/ANSA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Chinese community in Rome is mourning the death of a student hit by a train while pursuing muggers who had stolen her purse with her just-issued residency permit.

An aspiring fashion designer, 20-year-old Zhang Yao arrived in the Italian capital from China in March to attend Rome's Academy of the Fine Arts.

On Dec. 5, Zhang had just left the police complex on Rome's outskirts which issues and renews residency permits when three young men snatched her bag. Friends said she called them with her cellphone to report what happened and plead for help while apparently trying to regain her documents.

Surveillance camera footage showed Zhang, looking dazed near train tracks, and then struck by the train.

Commemorating her at the train station Sunday, mourners cried.