The Friday night shooting of a Sikh man in Kent is being investigated as a possible hate crime, Kent police said over the weekend.
Kent Police have not identified the victim, but he was identified by news reports and Susha Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, as Deep Rai, a U.S. citizen originally from India.
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./1
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) March 5, 2017
Swaraj told ABC News that Rai is out of danger and recovering from his wounds.
Police said Rai was working on his car in his driveway when someone approached him and the two got in an argument. The shooter allegedly told Rai “to go back home” before shooting him, Rai’s tenant told KIRO-TV. The shooter is still at large.
The shooting occurred after a series of attacks on minorities around the country, including the shooting of two immigrants from India in Kansas. One of the men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, died and police arrested Adam W. Purinton, in connection with the shooting. Another man who tried to stop the shooter from leaving the scene was also shot.
Witnesses told police that Purinton used ethnic slurs against Kuchibhotla and his coworker, Alok Madasani, and asked about their visas before the shooting.
National advocacy group the Sikh Coaltion said in a statement issued over the weekend that the shootings in Kansas and Kent follow “the larger national pattern of hate violence directed at minority communities across the United States in the wake of the presidential election.”
“Tone matters in our political discourse, because this a matter of life or death for millions of Americans who are worried about losing loved ones to hate,” said Rajdeep Singh, the organization’s interim program manager.