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caption: Reverend Carey Anderson holds a candle in the air while leading a 'Mourning into Unity' prayer vigil in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, October 19, 2020, at Seattle's First A-M-E Church on Capitol Hill.
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Reverend Carey Anderson holds a candle in the air while leading a 'Mourning into Unity' prayer vigil in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, October 19, 2020, at Seattle's First A-M-E Church on Capitol Hill.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Black legislative candidate shot with BB gun in Auburn, raising questions about possible hate crime

Legislative candidate and pastor Carey Anderson said a man fired a BB gun at him Thursday night in South King County in what may have been a racist attack.

Anderson is the senior pastor at the First AME church in Auburn and Seattle, and running for a House seat in the 30th legislative district, which includes Federal Way, Auburn, and Des Moines.

Anderson, who is Black, said he and a volunteer were placing campaign signs at an intersection in unincorporated Auburn when a young white man rolled down the window of his car and fired a BB gun.

Anderson said he heard a popping sound and realized he was hit. The shots grazed Anderson in the hip.

He said he hopes police find the man, but Anderson doesn’t want him to go to jail.

“I would want to talk to the young man," he said. "I would want to find out what motivates him to operate in that kind of behavior and get him the help and treatment that he needs."

A deputy from the King County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene and filed a report. A spokesperson said they don’t currently have additional information on the suspect.

Anderson said the man drove away without saying anything, but he believes he may have been targeted because of his race.

“We have to be so careful even placing signs. I wonder if I’d been white if the same thing would have happened — I just don’t know,” Anderson said.

He said he and his campaign staff put up signs late at night to avoid traffic, but now he feels reluctant to continue that practice.