KENT, Wash. -- The FBI will help investigate the shooting of a Sikh man who said a gunman approached him as he worked on his car in his suburban Seattle driveway and told him “go back to your own country,” authorities said Sunday.
Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said the department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime. He said no arrests have been made yet after the victim was shot in the arm but that he did not believe anyone was in imminent danger.
“This is a top priority investigation, and we are doing everything possible to identify and arrest the suspect,” Thomas said in an email, adding that residents in the city of about 125,000 should “be vigilant” but also not let the shooting hurt their quality of life.
The FBI’s Seattle office said in a statement Sunday that it is “committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated,” the Seattle Times reported.
It comes after an Indian man was killed and another wounded in a recent shooting at a Kansas bar that federal agencies are investigating as a hate crime after witnesses say the suspect yelled “get out of my country.”
Gurcharan Bains, president of a community-based Sikh temple in Los Angeles, believes these kinds of hate crimes are on the rise.
“Do you believe the racial tension of our country is creating these kinds of incidents?” CBS News’ Mireya Villarreal asked Bains.
“Absolutely it is,” Bains said. “What we need is to teach people how to coexist.”
The shooting comes less than two weeks after Adam Purinton allegedly targeted two Indian men in a Kansas bar and told them to "get out of my country".. killing one and injuring the other.
That second victim, Alok Madasani, spoke out at a peaceful protest near Kansas City. "It was rage and malice in an individual's heart that killed my friend."
Sikh leaders in western Washington say the shooting of singh has raised concerns about safety. "Actions like this is something that we have to get united and stand up against," said Jasmit Singh.
In an email Sunday, the Kent police chief said no arrests have been made and while he does not believe anyone is in imminent danger, he is telling people to be vigilant, calling the case a top priority.
(Hena Daniels, CBS News)
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