Sikh shot at in US, told to 'go back to your own country'

Sikh shot at in US, told to 'go back to your own country'

Attack being probed as hate crime

Sikh shot at in US, told to 'go back to your own country'

A 39-year-old Sikh man in the US was shot outside his home by a partially masked gunman, who shouted “go back to your own country”.

The suspected hate crime comes just days after an Indian engineer was killed in Kansas.

The Sikh, identified as US national Deep Rai, was working on his vehicle outside his home in Kent, Washington, on Friday when he was approached by a stranger, who had walked up to his driveway.

The Kent police said an argument broke out between the two men, with Rai saying the suspect made statements like “go back to your own country”. The unidentified man then shot him in the arm, Rai said.

The victim described the shooter as a six-feet-tall white man, wearing a mask covering the lower half of his face. The 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”. The police have launched an investigation and have reached out to the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.

Kent Police Commander Jarod Kasner said the incident is getting attention from the Sikh community and others.

“With the recent unrest and concern throughout the nation, this can get people emotionally involved, especially when (the crime) is directed at a person for how they live and how they look,” Kasner said.
The incident is the latest in a series of troubling cases where members of the Indian community have been targeted in apparent hate crimes.

Reacting to the incident, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “I am sorry to know about the attack on Deep Rai, a US national of Indian origin. I have spoken to Sardar Harpal Singh, the victim’s father.”

“He told me that his son had a bullet injury on his arm. He is out of danger and is recovering in a private hospital,” Sushma tweeted. It comes close on the heels of the shooting in Kansas last month, in which an Indian engineer was killed.