California Man Charged With Attempted Murder With Hate Crime Enhancement In Shooting Of Black Dad
After being shot seven times, Bobby Gayle still says he "can't have hatred living in [his] heart."
October 18, 2021 at 3:06 pm
Update (Oct. 18, 2021): Michael Hayes, a 31-year-old white man, has been charged for attempted murder with a hate crime enhancement after allegedly attacking 45-year-old Black man, Bobby Gayle, on Oct. 8 in Stockton, California.
Hayes, who was arraigned on Friday, has also been charged for assault with a firearm with a hate crime enhancement and carrying a loaded firearm while in a public space, ABC News reports.
Prosecutors said Hayes was "driving erratically and speeding" through a parking lot when Gayle told him to slow down.
"The defendant then stopped, exited the vehicle, used racial epithets, and shot the victim seven times," the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office stated.
Gayle had just finished a construction job at a restaurant when the incident happened around 11:30 p.m. The 45-year-old, who was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, said he doesn’t hold any animosity toward the shooter.
"I can't have hatred living in my heart," he told ABC 10 while speaking from his hospital bed. "We come from a family, we just love everybody, there's no hatred over here. One-hundred percent, that's not me."
Gayle’s family expressed relief after police arrested the suspect.
"By God's grace the guy is found and he's arrested," said Marlon Gayle, the construction worker’s brother. "We'll let justice take its place."
Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones thanked an anonymous tipster who helped find the alleged shooter. He also thanked detectives "for bringing a quick resolution to this case for the victim and his family."
Hayes, who remains in custody, is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 28.
"The terrible actions of one is not a representation of who we are as a community. No one should be victimized because of their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation," District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement. "My office takes these crimes very seriously. It is our goal, in collaboration with our law enforcement partners, to rid the community of hate and unnecessary gun violence."
Original (Oct. 15, 2021): Police in Stockton, California, are investigating a possible hate crime after a Black cement worker was shot seven times on Friday, People reports.
Described by officials as a seemingly unprovoked attack, Bobby Gayle Jr. was struck twice in the face with bullets. The father of five is now in stable condition and is on the road to recovery.
The shooter is being described as a "short, white male in his 30s." The suspect was also driving an old Chevrolet Silverado.
The 45-year-old was shot while he was preparing to do some work with a friend near a local Wells Fargo Bank, KCRA 3 reports.
ON KCRA: Family members say a gunman yelled racial epithets at Bobby Gayle Jr (pictured) before shooting him 7 times Friday night. Stockton police are now investigating the incident as a potential hate crime. pic.twitter.com/HiDCavU1Ap— KCRA Kay Recede (@KayRecede) October 12, 2021
Not long after leaving the construction site, the cement mason called and left his brother, Marlon Gayle, a voicemail after being shot. He also called for 911.
"Marlon, I've been shot. Pray for me. I swear to God. Please. In the name of Jesus. Hallelujah," he said in the voicemail played by his brother Marlon.
Marlon said the driver almost hit his brother and his friend while the car was in reverse. No information has been shared about the friend and if they were injured during the attack.
"My brother threw his hands up, [and] was like, 'Hey, man, slow down. What's going on, like slow down,'" Marlon, said. "The guy got out his truck, parked his truck, got out, and he started saying the 'n' word and just started shooting."
Bobby is seen on surveillance footage holding his hands up while the shooter fired off rounds.
Despite police still searching for their loved one's shooter and attempting to make sense of the incident, Marlon said his family believes in love.
"We believe in forgiveness, but at the same time, white supremacy, hatred, bigotry and all of that — we stand against that," the brother said.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for any information that can help officers make an arrest.
"We take these types of crimes very seriously and so we're investigating it to the fullest. We have some detectives assigned to it, as well as an officer that's assigned to the FBI task force," assistant police Chief Jim Chraska said, according to KCRA 3.
Back in August, the FBI released data about hate crimes targeting Black Americans. According to its report, hate crimes against Black Americans increased by nearly 40% in 2020.