A Hartford, Conn. pastor who preached tolerance for gays and lesbians may have been shot in an anti-LGBT hate crime, BuzzFeed News reported on Tuesday.
Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said, in an interview Tuesday, that the shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime.
“Some language used in the incident — and given where it was, in front of a church known to be accepting of our LGBT community — it led us to have concern that this is a hate crime,” Foley said.
On Sunday, Rev. Augustus Sealy was outside the Hartford First Church of the Nazarene putting up flags in honor of Memorial Day when he was shot three times, twice in the leg and once in the shoulder, according to a police report obtained by BuzzFeed.
Witnesses reportedly heard five gunshots and saw a black Nissan Altima fleeing the scene. Officers found seven shell casings, BuzzFeed reported.
Police had not yet identified a suspect, according to BuzzFeed.
Sealy’s assistant, Rev. Elton Adams, described Sealy’s injuries to BuzzFeed on Tuesday.
“He has a broken leg because the gunshot broke his femur. He bled a lot,” Adams said. “The pastor is doing much better. We are just praying for his total healing.”