(JTA) – Two Jews were shot with BB guns in a heavily Orthodox neighbourhood of New York City.
City Councilman Rory Lancman said that the victims, neither of whom was seriously injured, were shot over the past 10 days in the Kew Gardens Hills section of Queens, the Queens Chronicle reported Monday.
The New York Police Department is investigating the incidents as potential anti-Semitic hate crimes.
A spokeswoman for Lancman told the paper that the first incident was approximately 10 days ago, but she was not sure of the precise date. The second incident occurred on Friday.
Both victims were wearing clothing traditionally worn by Orthodox Jews. The gender of the first victim was not specified, but the second one was male.
New York State Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz issued a statement saying, “I am deeply saddened to hear about the recent incident that betrays an unfortunate prejudice alive in our neighborhood. We live in a community that should celebrate and be proud of our diversity. Acts of bigotry will not be tolerated or go unpunished. I am confident that all perpetrators will be brought to justice, ending a recent string of shameful crimes.”
Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs, is one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States. Kew Gardens Hills, which is home to Lander College for Men and various yeshivas, has a large haredi Orthodox population.