A 39-year-old Sikh man in the United States has been shot and wounded outside his home by a partially-masked gunman who shouted “go back to your own country”, in a suspected hate crime incident that comes just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas.
The Sikh man, identified as US national Deep Rai by Indian officials in New Delhi, was working on his vehicle outside his home in Kent, Washington, on Friday when he was approached by a stranger, who walked up to his driveway.
Kent police said an argument broke out between the two men, with Rai 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 are looking for the gunman.
Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said while the Sikh man sustained “non life-threatening injuries”, they are treating this as a “very serious incident”.
Rai is able to talk, an Indian government official said. The official said the government was ready to offer all possible assistance to the wounded man.
Authorities are investigating the shooting as a suspected hate crime, according to the Seattle Times.
Consulate General of India in San Francisco is in touch with local authorities who are ascertaining the nature of the crime, the Indian official said.
Kent police have launched an investigation into the case and reached out to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies.
“We’re early on in our investigation,” Thomas said.