Police in Kent, Washington are searching for a gunman who shot a 39-year-old Sikh man after allegedly telling him to “go back to your own country.”
The shooting occurred around 8pm on Friday, the Seattle Times reported. According to Kent police, the man was in his driveway working on his car when he was approached by an unknown man. The victim says the shooter was a white male but was wearing a mask covering the lower half of his face.
An altercation occurred between the two, with the unknown man saying statements to the Sikh man to the effect of “go back to your own country.” He then allegedly shot the Sikh man in the arm.
“This investigation is a top priority for the Kent Police department and we have reached out to the FBI and other local law enforcement agencies,” Kent Police said in a statement, according to the News Tribune.
Former Kent city employee and Kent City Council candidate Satwinder Kaur shared a message regarding the Kent shooting on Facebook, and she said the victim is shaken but wishes to remain anonymous. According to Kaur, Kent police chief Ken Thomas hosted a community meeting at noon Saturday.
The shooting in Kent comes less than two weeks after a Kansas man allegedly told two Indian men to “get out of my country” before shooting at them in a bar, killing one. The man also has been charged with shooting a third man, another American, when he tried to confront him.
“Now that I have had a few hours to process this news, I am saddened and heartbroken at this incident happening in our city,” Kaur wrote about the Kent shooting. “This shows how much more work is there to be done in our community.”
Kaur did not immediately reply to a request for comment.