A 39-year-old Sikh man identified as Deep Rai in the US was injured when an unidentified person shot him outside his home and allegedly shouted “go back to your own country.”
The Sikh man was working on his vehicle outside his home in the city of Kent in the Washington state on Friday, when he was approached by a stranger, who walked up to the driveway, the Seattle Times reported.
Kent police said an argument broke out between the two men, with the victim saying the suspect made statements to the effect of “go back to your own country.”
The unidentified man then shot him in the arm.
The victim described the shooter as a six-foot-tall white man, wearing a mask covering the lower half of his face. Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said while the Sikh man sustained “non life-threatening injuries”, they are “treating this as a very serious incident.”
Kent police have launched an investigation into the case and reached out to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, the report said.
“We’re early on in our investigation,” Thomas said. Kent Police Commander Jarod Kasner said the incident is getting attention from the Sikh community and others.
“With recent unrest and concern throughout the nation this can get people emotionally involved, especially when (the crime) is directed at a person for how they live, how they look,” Kasner said.
Meanwhile, officials sources have said that the Consulate General of India in San Francisco is in contact with the local authorities who are ascertaining the nature of the crime. Sources said that Rai is able to talk . The Consulate General of India has wished him a speedy recovery and assured every possible assistance.
The incident is the latest in a series of troubling cases where members of the Indian community have been targeted in apparent hate crimes.
It comes close on the heels of the tragic shooting in Kansas last month of 32-year old Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed when 51-year old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani before yelling “get out of my country.”