FBI Investigating Shooting of Sikh Man in Washington as Hate Crime

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KENT, Wash. — The FBI will help investigate the shooting of a Sikh Indian American 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 Mar. 5, a move that was welcomed by the Sikh community.

While the Kent Police Department has moved swiftly to investigate the shooting as a hate crime, the national civil rights group Sikh Coalition is calling on national leaders – including the Trump administration – to take concrete actions to prevent future hate crimes, the Coalition said in a statement.

Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas said no arrests have yet been after the victim, Deep Rai, 39, was shot in the arm Mar. 3 about 20 miles south of Seattle, but that he did not believe anyone was in imminent danger.

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"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 the city of about 120,000 should "be vigilant."

This latest shooting comes after an Indian American man, Harnish Patel, was killed Mar. 2 in South Carolina (see separate story); following the Feb. 22 killing of another Indian American engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, and the wounding of his colleague Alok Madasani, which federal agencies are investigating as a hate crime after witnesses say the suspect yelled "get out of my country."

Read more here.

New America Media is partnering with the Documenting Hate Project, a collaborative of media outlets, civil rights groups and tech companies nationwide working to document the rise of hate crimes and incidences of bias or harassment in the United States since the 2016 election. If you have experienced or witnessed a hate crime or incident of bias or harassment, you can use this form to send information about the incident to the Documenting Hate Project. The form is not a report to law enforcement or any government agency. It will be used as part of a national database for use by journalists, researchers and civil rights organizations.