Twenty-year old Jimmy Kramer, father of twin toddlers, was run over and killed in an act that may constitute a hate crime.
According to the Seattle Times, Kramer and a group of friends had been celebrating his 20th birthday with a camping trip along the picturesque Humptulips River in Grays Harbor County, Washington.
Witnesses described the attacker as driving a white pickup truck “aggressively” and “spinning donuts” near the group’s campsite beginning at 1:30am on Saturday. The group called for him to stop, and, according to a witness, a rock was thrown at the car’s window in an attempt to stop the car, although others claimed the rock had been thrown only after the car had stopped. The driver then targeted the group, and according to witnesses intentionally ran into Kramer and his nineteen-year old friend Harvey Anderson, who survived but not without injury. Kramer died later that night at Tacoma General Hospital, while Anderson was released from the hospital on Sunday.
Both victims were members of the Quinault Indian Nation in Washington. Police and Quinault tribe members fear that the act may have been racially motivated, as witnesses described the truck driver as yelling racial slurs and “war whoops” as he ran over the two victims. “Our entire Tribe is distraught over this incident,” Quinault tribal President Fawn Sharp said in the tribe’s press statement. “If it is, in fact, determined that this was a hate crime it will add even more distress and sadness to our loss of this outstanding young man and the injury of the other.”
Kramer has been praised as a hero by tribal officers, as witnesses have said that he attempted to push Anderson out of the truck’s way, possibly saving his life. Quinault tribal Treasurer Larry Ralston considered him a “stellar athlete,” a “keen hunter,” and “most of all a father, a friend, a family member and a father whose life was taken from him senselessly.”
The police are now investigating the incident as a murder. No arrests have been made.
[Image via screengrab]