Beaumont, Texas police are searching for a man who fired shots into the window of the campaign headquarters of Jefferson County Sheriff candidate, Zena Stephens.
Stephens told 12 News she had been standing outside her campaign headquarters with a group of people when a white man in a white jeep pulled up and shouted “f*** the ni**ers,” before firing a shot into a front window of the building.
Stephens said roughly 20 other people had been inside at the time but no was hurt.
No bullet was immediately found but police believe the weapon used may have been a pellet gun. They said they are searching for the person who fired the shot.
Witnesses said they were nearly hit by the gunman, with so many people coming and going from the building that evening.
“It could have been a tragedy,” Tanya Robertson told 12 News. “To the person that did this, say your prayers tonight. Ask God to turn your life around.”
Zena Stephens is campaigning to become the democratic candidate for Jefferson County Sheriff Office. The county, in the southeast part of the state on the Gulf coast, is considered the most democratic in Texas. Voters there haven’t supported a Republican for president since 1972.
Stephens was the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy before she planned to run for the nomination for sheriff in the March primary. She was with sheriff office for 16 years.
The 12 News channel said she made history when she became Jefferson County’s first African American female deputy chief.
Currently, she is police chief at Prairie View A&M University where she led the school’s police since September 2013, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.
Stephens is running against Rod Carroll, assistant deputy chief, and Joe “QB” Stevenson, chief deputy in the Democratic primary. Fellow Democratic sheriff candidates expressed their shock and dismay.
“Thank God that no one was hurt,” Rod Carroll, told 12 News. “I do not condone that kind of behavior or violence. We, as a community, should stand against violence.”
Stephens’ other opponent Joe Stevenson said, “It’s just good that nobody was injured. Thank God that she and her campaign committee are safe. That’s senseless. That’s uncalled for.”
The winner will run against retired Beaumont police lieutenant Ray Beck, who is running unopposed in the Republican primary.