US admits attack on Sikh was a hate crime

A Sikh man shot outside his home in Washington state by a partially-masked gunman shouting “go back to your own country” was targeted because of his ethnic origin, authorities have said as they announced a reward of up to $6,000 for anyone providing a lead in the case.

US national Deep Rai, 39, was working on his vehicle outside his home in Kent on March 3 when he was approached by a stranger, who first argued with Rai, and then shot him in the arm.

“The account provided by the victim suggests that he was targeted because of his ethnic origin,” Kent Police chief Ken Thomas told media persons on Thursday, adding: “Hateful acts are not acceptable.”

Nearly a week after the shooting that stoked fears among the Indian-American community, the police released the sketch of the shooter. Thomas said the lone white shooter make, about six-feet tall, medium built and between 35-40 years of age.

On the day of the shooting, he was wearing a dark-coloured or black hoodie in addition to dark coloured clothing. The lower portion of his face was covered with a mask.

The incident is being investigated by the Kent Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as a hate crime.

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