79-year-old woman identified as person of interest after threatening to shoot Cambodians in Philadelphia

Philadelphia

A 79-year-old woman identified herself as the author of a letter that threatened to shoot Cambodians in Philadelphia earlier this week, according to state police.

Who got the letter: The typed, one-page letter was sent to the South Philadelphia office of the Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia (CAGP).

  • The anonymous letter was dated June 30 but was only opened on Monday due to the Fourth of July weekend. The author alleged that Cambodians had been setting off fireworks in Mifflin Square Park non-stop, affecting their sleep.
  • The author added that they are suffering from traumatic stress disorder after serving as a Marine in Afghanistan and Iraq. They claimed to be in possession of several guns.
  • “I want to take a gun and go down there and kill these individual [sic],” the author allegedly wrote, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I am writing you to let you know when I do freak out and try to kill these people that it is your fault for not going to them and encouraging them (it is in their best interest) to stop doing this and remain alive!”

Community warned: On Tuesday, CAGP alerted the Cambodian community of the letter and urged members to report any suspicious activity immediately.

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  • The association also announced that they have informed local and state authorities of the situation. Police are reportedly patrolling the 7th Street area, where their South Center is located.
  • “We take this threat very seriously, especially with the ongoing anti-Asian hate and violence,” CAGP wrote. “The safety of our staff and our community members are our priority.”

Woman claims authorship: Philadelphia police have identified a 79-year-old woman as a person of interest in the case, according to CBS Philly. She reportedly claimed to be the author of the letter.

  • In their investigation, police found that the woman is not a former member of the military. She also does not appear to possess firearms.
  • Police have since forwarded their findings to the District Attorney’s Office for review. The author may face charges for her actions.
  • CAGP Executive Director Sarun Chan described the author’s actions as “blatant ethnic intimidation.” While the association was “distraught,” they are “not going to be silenced,” he told CBS Philly.

CAGP, alongside allies and city agencies, will hold a news conference at Mifflin Square Park on July 9 at 3 p.m.

Featured Image via CBS Philly

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