Connecticut police are investigating the possibility that the Memorial Day drive-by shooting of a Hartford pastor was a hate crime.
Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy was shot three times while planting flags outside First Church of Nazarene at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.
Sealy is being treated at an area hospital for gunshot wounds to his shoulder and leg and is expected to survive.
Police have not yet identified a suspect and are investigating whether Sealy was targeted.
"There were some statements made at the scene (by the shooter) that certainly keep the idea of a hate crime open," Hartford Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley told reporters Tuesday night.
Foley did not reveal what the gunman's words were and declined to specify why Sealy may have been shot.
"We respect our victims quite a bit and it's far too early ... to speculate" on the motive, Chief James Rovella said, according to the Hartford Courant.
Authorities are also reviewing whether Sealy's shooting was related to another one just 15 minutes later. That victim, 27-year-old Robert Jones, of Hartford, is in serious condition.
Police said they are looking for a black Nissan or Honda sedan from which shots were fired at both scenes.
Sealy was shot while planting flags outside his church on Sunday.
Hartford residents gathered in a vigil Tuesday night to honor Sealy, whom they said is well-liked and caring.
Sealy's wife, Sharon, said her husband is in pain but has remained strong.
"He hasn't lost any hope," Sharon Sealy told NBC Connecticut. "You know, this is something that happened that was really terrible and shouldn't have happened and we've already prayed for that person who actually committed the crime."
Pastor Shooting Possible Hate Crime