Texas police: Witness says white male fired shot at black candidate’s office

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Police in Beaumont, Texas, say they’re investigating a report that a white male yelled a racial slur and fired a gun at the campaign office of an African-American candidate for sheriff.

Nobody was injured in the Monday night shooting but a glass door was broken at Zena Stephens’ campaign headquarters, said police department public information officer Tony Harding Jr. Police have not reported any arrests yet.

“Zena Stephens reported that several people were in her campaign office when a witness reported that a white male in a newer white Jeep Cherokee drove by southbound on 11th Street,” Harding told CNN. “He was hanging out the passenger window and fired a handgun at the building, yelling a racial slur. One of the glass doors was shattered by the round.”

Stephens is a Democratic candidate for sheriff in Jefferson County, located on the Texas-Louisiana state line. She’s a former Jefferson County deputy and police chief at Prairie View A&M University.

She issued a statement, saying: “I would like to thank everyone for your overwhelming support and prayers following last night’s senseless act of violence inflicted during our volunteer rally at our campaign headquarters. 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. Due to the importance of today’s election and my need to be in the community, I will address all media questions after the election.”

Dr. Garrett Peel, the Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman, issued a statement condemning the attack, CNN affiliate KFDM reported.

“We have no time for this kind of hate in Southeast Texas. Our candidates and their volunteers are public servants and we are thankful to their sacrifice. The most powerful protest is a vote, not a gunshot. We are thankful Zena and her team are safe,” Peel said.

By Ralph Ellis and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN