Another awful hate crime has taken place in the U.S., this time in Kent, Washington.
On Friday night, a 39-year-old Sikh man was shot and told by the shooter, “Go back to your own country!”
The unnamed victim told Kent police that he was approached by the shooter while he was working on his car in his driveway. According to The Seattle Times, after the shooter approached the victim, “an altercation followed,” and then the victim was shot in the arm and told to go back to his own country.
The shooter has been described as a stocky, 6-foot-tall white man who wore a mask that covered the lower portion of his face.
The victim has since been released from the hospital, and his injuries have been deemed “non-life-threatening.” Regardless, he and other members of the Sikh community are still very shaken by the situation.
Jasmit Singh, a leader of the Sikh community in Renton, Washington, said about the victim’s condition:
‘He is just very shaken up, both him and his family We’re all kind of at a loss in terms of what’s going on right now, this is just bringing it home. The climate of hate that has been created doesn’t distinguish between anyone.’
Singh also said that, recently, a number of Sikh men in the area have described experiencing “a kind of prejudice, a kind of xenophobia that is nothing that we’ve seen in the recent past.” He described feeling similarly in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks; however, he added that, at that time, he felt the President and his administration were on his side.
‘But at that time, it felt like the [presidential] administration was actively working to allay those fears. Now, it’s a very different dimension.’
In response to last night’s shooting, Kent police say they have reached out to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. A spokesperson also said on Saturday afternoon that the police “are treating this as a very serious incident.”
‘I can tell you right now we’re early on in our investigation. The shot resulted in non-life-threatening injuries, however we are treating this as a very serious incident.’
Watch the spokesperson’s statement below, via Twitter.
— Harjinder Singh Kukreja – ਹਰਜਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਕੁਕਰੇਜਾ (@SinghLions) March 4, 2017