Sharmeka Moffitt, 20, remains in critical condition at LSU Medical Center burn center in Shreveport, LA, two days after she was attacked and set on fire by three men dressed in white hoodies.
Last night her mother spoke out, saying that Moffitt has sustained burns over 60 percent of her body.
According to The News-Star:
Her mother Edna Moffitt and family members spoke to reporters Monday afternoon at the medical center. Moffitt said her daughter could be hospitalized for a month or longer.
Moffitt said the family was shocked by the attack.
“I have never known anything like this to happen in Winnsboro,” Moffitt said.
The attack happened Sunday evening at Civitan Park in Winnsboro, Louisiana while Sharmeka was walking in the park on a paved trail.
While authorities have not declared the attack on Moffitt a hate crime, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved in the investigation along with state and local authorities.
The FBI defines a hate crime as a traditional offense like murder, arson or vandalism, but with an added element of bias.
Congress has defined a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
A hate crime is not a distinct federal offense, however, the federal government can and does investigate and prosecute crimes of bias as civil rights violations, which fall under its jurisdiction.
Moffitt could not confirm the race of the attackers.
According to reports, her car was painted with a racial slur and the letters “KKK,” her family said. Moffitt called 911 to report the attack, but was unable to identify her attackers.
Louisiana State Trooper Albert Paxton said this morning police are analyzing DNA gathered from the scene of an attack on a woman in Civitan Park in Winnsboro with hopes it will identify suspects in a crime that could have been racially motivated.
Moffitt is set to undergo surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport today as she remains in critical condition.
“We’re analyzing DNA evidence with hopes that we can find some matches,”
Our thoughts and prayers are with Moffitt as she undergoes surgery today.
SOURCE: The News-Star