Washington, Feb 26 (IANS) The US Department of Justice and police are investigating the shooting of a Sikh American while driving in Port Orange, Florida as a hate crime, according to media reports.
The victim, 46-year-old Kanwaljit Singh wearing a head turban, was driving with his son when he was shot at six times by people in a black truck Saturday, Daytona Beach News-JournalOnline.com reported Monday.
Two of the bullets struck Singh, who was in the intensive care unit Monday at Halifax Health Medical Centre in Daytona Beach, the news site said citing family members.
The shooting Saturday night just after 11 p.m. occurred as Singh and his 13-year-old son were heading home after Singh closed up the convenience store he opened just 10 days ago on Port Orange's beachside, News-Journal said.
There were six bullet holes in the driver's side of Singh's car, family friend Rimi Jassel was quoted as saying. Singh was hit once in the thigh and once in the torso.
"Although no clear motive has been established initial indications are this shooting was not a random act," said Wayne Miller, Port Orange's assistant chief of police.
Two community organisations, the Sikh Coalition and Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund (SALDEF) have called on law enforcement officials, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), to conduct a thorough investigation of this shooting and determine whether it was motivated by bias.
According to SALDEF there are over 700,000 Sikhs in the US.