Sikh American
Sikh Americans have been the targets of a series of hate crimes since the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015 Getty

Police are searching for a gunman who allegedly shot and injured a 39-year-old Sikh man in Kent, Washington, on Friday (3 March).

The victim, identified as Deep Rai, was working on his car in his driveway at around 8pm local time (1am GMT on Saturday) when he was approached by a 6ft tall white male who had covered his face and started arguing with Deep. Soon the man allegedly pulled out a gun and shot in the victim's arm, before saying "go back to your own country", according to Seattle Times.

Police in Kent said that they have consulted with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies with regard to the incident.

Kent police chief, Ken Thomas said "We're early on in our investigation. We are treating this as a very serious incident."

"It is our belief and opinion, based upon the experience of my investigators, that our victim is absolutely credible and that this incident did occur as he has described," Thomas told a local news channel.

The victim has been released from hospital.

Meanwhile, Jasmit Singh, a Sikh community leader told Seattle Times: "He [Rai] is just very shaken up, both him and his family. We're all kind of at a loss in terms of what's going on right now, this is just bringing it home. The climate of hate that has been created doesn't distinguish between anyone."

The Sikh Coalition, a civil rights group based in New York urged state and federal agencies to investigate the case as a hate crime.

The shooting comes just a few days after an Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot dead by a gunman at a bar in Kansas, who also allegedly told his victim "get out of my country".