Sikh man shot in US, says he was told, "Go back to your own country" by masked gunman
New York, March 5, 2017
A 39-year-old Sikh man was allegedly shot at and injured by a partially-masked gunman who walked onto his driveway in Kent, Washington in the United States and opened fire at him, saying, "Go back to your own country", in a suspected case of hate crime.
Reports reaching here said the man was working on his vehicle in the driveway of his house in the East Hill neighbourhood of the town, around 8 pm on Friday, when the unknown man approached him.
Police said the victim told them that there was an altercation between them, during which the man made statements to the effect of "Go back to your own country". The victim was shot in the arm.
The reports said the victim described the assailant as a six-foot tall white man with a stocky build. He had covered the lower half of his face with a mask.
"I am sorry to know about the attack on Deep Rai, a US national of Indian origin. I have spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh, father of the victim," Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
"He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospital," she added.
Police in Kent are in touch with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other law-enforcement agencies in connection with the incident.
“We’re early on in our investigation. We are treating this as a very serious incident," the reports quoted Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas as saying on Saturday morning.
Sikh community leaders said the victim had been discharged from hospital. They said he and his family were very shaken up by the incident and that the community was concerned about the "climate of hate".
The Sikh Coalition, a New York-based civil rights group, urged local and federal authorities to investigate the incident as a case of hate crime.
The incident has come days after an Indian-American engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, was killed when a 51-year-old US Navy veteran Adam Purinton allegedly shot at him and his friend, Alok Madasani, shouting, "Get out of my country", in an incident in a Kansas City bar on February 22.
On Thursday night, Harnish Patel, an Indian-origin businessman, was found shot dead in the front yard of his house in Lancaster county in South Carolina.
Local media reports quoted the county coroner's office as saying that Patel, 43, died on the spot but there was no indication that it was a hate crime.
The reports said Patel was shot about ten minutes after he closed his Speedee Mart store. They quoted investigators as saying that he drove straight home from the store and appeared to have been confronted by the killer when he stepped out of his silver-coloured Toyota Sienna mini-van around 11.30 pm local time.