After the March 3 shooting of the Kent man, who is a member of the Sikh religion, local community leaders, including Renton Mayor Denis Law, have released comments regarding the alleged hate crime.
The victim, 39-year-old Deep Rai, was shot in his arm in his driveway, on the west side of 108th Avenue Southeast, near the intersection of 201st Street.
Both Kent Police Department and FBI investigators said the crime appears to fall under the federal statue of a hate crime and that is how it is being investigated. According to Law, “we should all be very concerned” if the shooting is a random hate crime.
The suspect is still at large, and the FBI and Crime Stoppers are offering up to a $6,000 reward for information that help solve the crime.
In response to the shooting, South King County leaders have organized a Community Unity Rally for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, March 11 at Kent Lutheran Church, 336 Second Ave. S.
To read more about the case and the recent press conference held by KPD and FBI, click here.
Here are the responses of local leaders regarding the shooting:
“If the FBI determines this was a random hate crime, we should all be very concerned. The Sikh community is a valued member of our city and this type of hate crime, or any type of discrimination cannot be tolerated.” -Denis Law, mayor of Renton
“This kind of incident has really torn us apart as a community as a whole. Nobody likes hate. As a community member the only thing I request from everybody else is to help us, police, FBI to find this person. Try to spread more love. That’s what we need in this community. We don’t want anymore haters. We want love. So pray for those haters to bring more love.” -Hira Singh Bhullar, Kent community leader (from the press conference)
“I would like to request the community to just watch out and be vigilant. Pay attention to your surroundings. Please do not engage in any argument with individuals. If someone makes hateful comments call the police.” -Satwinder Kaur, Kent community leader (from the press conference)
“Our hearts go out to the Rai family and we’re thinking about Deep during his recovery process. The face that a member of our community was targeted — in front of his own house — is unacceptable. While the investigation is ongoing, one thing is clear: hate-fueled tragedies have no place in our country, and we know that guns help make hate deadly. We must stand together against this terrible act of violence and recommit ourselves to providing a safe community for all Washingtonians.” -Erin Cizmas, volunteer with Washington Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
We join the growing chorus of voices expressing sorrow and outrage over the suspected hate crime hat took place March 3 in Kent. We urge anyone in the community who may have leads in this case to contact the police and to provide information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrator.” -Rich Stolz, executive director of OneAmerica