A crazed gunman opened fire on Zena Stephens’ campaign office in Texas in an apparent hate crime. Stephens is an African American woman running for the position of Sheriff in Jefferson County, Texas, who has served as police chief of a local university. Stephens says she was standing outside of her campaign office in Beaumont, Texas, when a white male in a white Jeep drove by the building. The man allegedly shouted “f**k the n***ers” as he opened fire on her office building. A bullet shattered the glass of the campaign headquarters building and the gunman fled. Fortunately, none of the 25 individuals working in the campaign office at the time of the attack where harmed but Stephens says the whole ordeal was “more shocking than scary” and she is just thankful no innocent people were hurt.
NBC reports that Zena Stephens, an African American woman, is running for the position of Sheriff for Jefferson County, Texas. The Democratic candidate has a campaign headquarters in Beaumont, Texas, where she says a shocking event took place on Monday evening. Stephens was standing outside of the building with other members of her campaign when a white man in a Jeep drove buy with a gun. The man then opened fire on the campaign building while allegedly yelling “f**k the n***ers” from the window. A bullet hit one of the windows in the office which was shattered. With 25 people inside of the office, Stephens says she is just thankful that no one was physically harmed during the incident.
“Anytime something like that happens with innocent people around you’re concerned for them. I don’t know if it was a random act or whether it was targeted, but I just think it is, you know, ignorance.”
Stephens notes that prior to the shooting she has not received any threats and that she was more “shocked than scared.” Local Beaumont authorities have confirmed the candidate’s accounts with other witnesses and say that they have questioned five individuals in regards to the shooting. Beaumont Police Sgt. Cody Guedry reports that they found a BB gun and low-caliber rifle inside of the alleged vehicle used in the shooting.
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 1, 2016
In spite of the campaign office shooting, Stephens says she will continue to campaign for the position as Sheriff and that she plans to continue to run a “clean campaign.”
“I am thankful none of our volunteers were injured. Today is Super Tuesday and our main focus continues on our campaign. As I have said to my team from the beginning we will continue to run a clean and professional campaign.”
NEW: Candidates & party leaders condemn violence after shot fired at Zena Stephens HQ | READ https://t.co/pvm5DF6lHrpic.twitter.com/zudZO666Br
— 12NewsNow (@12NewsNow) March 1, 2016
Though a number of media outlets have covered the story as a hate crime with racial motives, Zena has yet to mention the shooting on her Facebook or Twitter pages. Instead, Zena Stephens has continued to campaign as normal, never mentioning the alleged hate crime but instead focusing on her current platform and work at Prairie View A&M University where she currently holds the position of Chief of Police.
The task of the leader is to get his/her people from where they are to where they have not been – Henry Kissinger. #zenaforsheriff
— Zena Stephens (@zenaforsheriff) November 29, 2015
Meanwhile, according to the Daily Mail, police have arrested a white male suspect in relation to the shots fired at the campaign office. What do you think of Zena Stephens’ response to the campaign office shooting?
[Image via Twitter/ Zena Stephens Campaign]