NEW YORK: A Sikh driver in Florida is in a critical condition after he was shot at by an unknown assailant on Saturday night while he was driving with his son at about 11.50 pm in Port Orange.
Reports quoting the local police said that 46-year-old Kanwaljit Singh is in stable but critical condition after undergoing surgery at Halifax Hospital in Dayton Beach. His 13-year-old son was not injured, according to Port Orange Police Department.
A local newspaper said someone in a Ford F-150 truck pulled alongside his vehicle and fired several shots, hitting the door of the Sikh driver’s Ford Focus. As Singh pulled over to the side of the road, he realized that he had been hit in the upper thigh.
Police are clueless about the assailant even as Assistant Police Chief Wayne Miller Miller said that “Mr. Singh remains in stable condition.’’
He said, “As we continue our endeavors to locate and identify said suspect and suspect vehicle, we ask anyone with any information concerning this incident to contact the Port Orange police.’’
The Sikh Coalition and Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) called on law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to conduct a thorough investigation to determine whether it was a hate crime.
“Of note, local authorities, working in collaboration with the FBI, do not believe this was a random act of violence. They understand that the victim is a Sikh and are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime,’’ the Sikh Coalition said in a statement.
The Coalition said it was in touch with local law enforcement, the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office.