A Nigerian man was shot three times with an air pistol on a London street yesterday for wearing a t-shirt bearing the image of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
Dube Egwuatu, 36, was at a cell phone store when the alleged gunman, a white man with a shaved head, confronted him and glared at the shirt, reports the Daily Mail newspaper. The man then began shouting racist slurs at Egwuatu, including “I f***ing hate n*****s,” and urged him to step outside.
The alleged attacker eventually left the shop but was waiting for Egwuatu outside with “a threatening-looking dog and holding a gun behind his back,” the paper reported.
Egwuatu, a married former street warden, zipped up his jacket to cover Obama’s face and started walking to his car. The suspect followed Egwuatu and pulled his gun as he was opening the car door.
After pleading with the man to leave him alone, Egwuatu started his car. That’s when, according to the Daily Mail, the attacker fired three times, hitting Egwuatu in the face, hand and shoulder. Egwuatu sped away in his car and called for help. He was taken to the hospital and later sent to have a piece of metal removed from his jaw.
Egwuatu told the Daily Mail: “He was telling me that he was going to kill me.
I couldn’t believe it was happening – and just because I was wearing an Obama T-shirt. He was trying to make me walk somewhere quieter, saying: ‘I’ve got something for you,’ and ‘I’m going to kill you.'”
He added: “Obama inspires me, his educational track record alone is quite unbelievable – that is why I was wearing the T-shirt. I did not think for one minute it could stir up such powerful feelings of hatred and I never said a word to him.”
The Daily Mail reports: “To the untrained eye, ball-bearing guns like the one used in the attack look every bit like a real firearm. The potentially lethal weapons are often converted by criminals to fire real bullets, and can be bought easily in high-street shops and on Web sites.
As of press time, no arrests have bee named. Detectives described the attacker as white, in his mid-30s, around 6ft tall with short ginger hair, wearing a grey camouflage jacket and combat trousers. He had a white and tan dog with him. Anyone with information can call police on 020 8284 8760, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.