Sharmeka Moffitt, 20, of New Orleans has been seriously injured by possible members of the Ku Klux Klan. Reports state that Moffitt suffered severe burns on more than half of her body and the initials KKK smeared onto the hood of her car.
Moffitt believes the crime could be race-related and officers are investigating the case as such. According to Moffitt, three men wearing white hooded sweatshirts or hats approached her on Sunday night and doused her with a flammable liquid before lighting a match and setting her on fire. She suffered burns on more than half of her body and requires surgery for treatment.
"Both of her arms, and they are third degree burns, down her chest and legs-one. Basically, her arms are real bad," her mother, Edna Moffitt told KSLA News.
Police also discovered the letters KKK, along with a racial slur, smeared on the top of her car. While acts by the KKK are rare, Otis Chisley, president of the local NAACP, said activity is still "prevalent throughout Louisiana."
"It's hidden but it exists," he added.
"This is a horrific event for our community," said Sheriff Kevin Cobb. "It makes everyone uneasy. It is our hope that everyone stands together at this time, and follow the information that is gathered, follow the facts, follow the evidence and hopefully that will lead us to justice in this case."
One of the myths that has followed this story is that Moffitt was wearing a t-shirt supporting President Obama. Early reports stated that her shirt was what instigated the attack, but that has since been debunked. The sheriff's office has confirmed that Moffitt was not wearing an Obama shirt at the time of the attack.
Tonight friends and family will hold a candlelight vigil for her in the very park where she was burned.