Police in Stockton, California, are investigating a possible hate crime after a Black cement worker was shot seven times on Friday, People reports.
Described by officials as a seemingly unprovoked attack, Bobby Gayle Jr. was struck twice in the face with bullets. The father of five is now in stable condition and is on the road to recovery.
The shooter is being described as a “short, white male in his thirties.” The suspect was also driving an old Chevrolet Silverado.
The 45-year-old was shot while he was preparing to do some work with a friend near a local Wells Fargo Bank, KCRA reports.
ON KCRA: Family members say a gunman yelled racial epithets at Bobby Gayle Jr (pictured) before shooting him 7 times Friday night. Stockton police are now investigating the incident as a potential hate crime. pic.twitter.com/HiDCavU1Ap
— KCRA Kay Recede (@KayRecede) October 12, 2021
Not long after leaving the construction site, the cement mason called and left his brother a voicemail after being shot. He also called for 911.
“Marlon, I’ve been shot. Pray for me. I swear to God. Please. In the name of Jesus. Hallelujah,” he said in the voicemail played by his brother Marlon.
Marlon said the driver almost hit his brother and his friend while the car was in reverse. No information has been shared about the friend and if they were injured during the attack.
“My brother threw his hands up, [and] was like, ‘Hey, man, slow down. What’s going on, like slow down,'” Marlon, said. “The guy got out his truck, parked his truck, got out, and he started saying the ‘n’ word and just started shooting.”
Bobby is seen on surveillance footage holding his hands up while the shooter fired off rounds.
Despite police still searching for their loved one’s shooter and attempting to make sense of the incident, Marlon said his family believes in love.
“We believe in forgiveness, but at the same time, white supremacy, hatred, bigotry, and all of that — we stand against that,” the brother said.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information that can help officers make an arrest.
“We take these types of crimes very seriously and so we’re investigating it to the fullest. We have some detectives assigned to it, as well as an officer that’s assigned to the FBI task force,” assistant police Chief Jim Chraska said.
Back in August, the FBI released data about hate crimes targeting Black Americans. According to its report, hate crimes against Black Americans increased by nearly 40% in 2020.