Kent police, FBI investigate possible hate crime against Sikh man who was shot outside home

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KENT, Wash. – A local Sikh man is now recovering at home after being shot in the arm Friday night.

The victim, 39-year-old Deep Rai, told police the gunman told him to ‘go back to his own country’ before opening fire.

The gunman is still on the loose and the shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

Q13 News spoke Monday by phone to Rai’s friend, who said Rai is doing better and recovering at home.

Kent Police is now getting help from the FBI as it investigates the possible hate crime.

Investigators said Rai was shot along 108th Avenue Southeast and that he had been working on a car when a stranger walked up the driveway and an argument quickly escalated.

“He was approached, confronted by a subject and some comments were made to the effect of get out of our country, go back to where you`re from and our victim was then shot,” said Kent Police Chief Ken Thomas.

Investigators said the suspect is described as a 6-foot white man with a stocky build, wearing a mask over half his face who argued with Rai before shooting him.

Detectives said they are taking the case seriously and getting help from federal investigators.

“It is our belief and our opinion based upon the opinion of my investigators that our victim is absolutely credible and this incident did occur exactly as he described,” said Thomas.

In America, the Sikh are often times confused with people of the Islamic faith, but the Sikh are not Muslims.

The local Sikh community condemned the shooting and asked for compassion and justice.

“This kind of fear that has been instilled in our communities, we don’t know if we’re safe, and it isn’t just Indian Americans,” said Congresswoman Primala Jayapal.

Jayapal said she is joining local Sikh community leaders to call on President Trump to condemn the shooting

“This president has to take responsibility for continuing to push forward a picture of immigrants that make people afraid, that’s a problem,” the Seattle Democrat said.