— A man shot and killed three people at a local convenience store in a bizarre crime spree that police are calling a “wake-up call” to police departments across the country, Indiana State Police said Saturday.
Authorities say 28-year-old Joshua Thomas was fatally shot outside of the Cafe Du Soleil in the small town of Covington.
Authorities are still investigating the incident, but police say the incident was not random.
Authorities believe the shooter was motivated by racial hate and believed that he would use the attack to “disrupt a social gathering,” Indiana State Troopers said in a news release.
The shooting happened in a store that sells beer, cigarettes, and other goods.
Thomas’ wife, Ashley Thomas, is in critical condition at IU Health Indiana University Hospitals, where she has been undergoing treatment.
Investigators are still trying to determine what prompted the attack, but the state is urging people to stay away from the store and to call 911 if they see anyone acting suspicious.
Indiana State Police have not released any further details about the crime spree, but they have posted a picture of the suspect on social media, as well as a description of the store on their Facebook page.
“While there is no information that leads us to believe this crime is connected to any known crimes or any other suspicious activity, it is important to remind our community that this is an ongoing and tragic situation and we urge people to remain vigilant,” Indiana Gov.
Eric Holcomb said in the release.