Sikh com­mu­nity ‘shaken up’ af­ter man threat­ened, shot

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY'S TOP NEWS - By Phuong Lee

Fear, hurt and dis­be­lief weighed on the minds of those who gath­ered at a Sikh tem­ple Sun­day af­ter the shoot­ing of a Sikh man who said a gun­man ap­proached him in his sub­ur­ban Seat­tle drive­way and told him “go back to your own coun­try.”

“Ev­ery­body who is part of this com­mu­nity needs to be vig­i­lant,” Satwinder Kaur, a Sikh com­mu­nity leader, said as sev­eral hun­dred peo­ple poured into a tem­ple in Ren­ton for wor­ship ser­vices about one mile from Fri­day night’s shoot­ing.

“It is scary,” she added. “The com­mu­nity has been shaken up.”

Au­thor­i­ties said a gun­man ap­proached the 39-year-old Sikh man as he worked on his car in his drive­way in the city of Kent, about 20 miles south of Seat­tle. The FBI will help in­ves­ti­gate the shoot­ing, au­thor­i­ties said.

Kent Po­lice Chief Ken Thomas said no ar­rests have been made yet af­ter the vic- tim 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 iden- tify 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.

The shoot­ing 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 wit- nesses say the sus­pect yelled “get out of my coun­try.”

Fri­day night’s shoot­ing was on the minds of many who poured into a Sikh Tem­ple in nearby Ren­ton Sun­day morn­ing for wor­ship. Women in col­or­ful saris and head­scarves and men in tur­bans and beards sat on the floor on op­po­site sides in­side the wor­ship space.

“Sikhism teaches about equal­ity and peace,” said San­deep Singh, 24. “It’s sad to see that’s what it has come to,” he said of the vi­o­lence. “This is our coun­try. This is ev­ery­one’s coun­try.”

In 2012, a man shot and killed six Sikh wor­ship­pers and wounded four others at a Sikh tem­ple near Mil­wau­kee be­fore killing him­self.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.