LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Authorities are investigating the suspected hate crime shooting of a Sikh man at his home near Seattle, media reported Saturday (March 4), just days after an engineer from India was fatally shot in Kansas.
The 39-year-old Sikh was working on his car in his driveway in Kent, Washington just south of Seattle, when a man walked up late Friday wearing a mask and holding a gun.
The Seattle Times newspaper reported that the partially-masked gunman, after exchanging words with the victim, said “Go back to your own country” before pulling the trigger, shooting him in the arm.
Authorities are investigating the shooting as a suspected hate crime, according to the Seattle Times, which did not provide the nationality of the victim. The daily reported that police are continuing to search for the gunman.
Jasmit Singh, a leader of the Sikh community near Seattle, told The Seattle Times that the victim has been released from the hospital.
“He is just very shaken up, both him and his family,” Singh said. “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.”
The incident follows a shooting at a Kansas bar last month that killed 32-year-old engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, causing shockwaves felt around the country.
A second Indian engineer, Alok Madasani, was injured in the Kansas shooting carried out by a white gunman whom witnesses said screamed racial slurs and told his victims to “get out of my country” before opening fire.
The Sikh Coalition, a New York-based civil rights group, asked local and federal authorities in a statement Saturday to investigate the latest shooting as a hate crime.