COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Columbia police are investigating after someone painted a derogatory statement and a homophobic slur on a young woman’s car Sunday night.

It happened on Overlook Place in Columbia between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The young victim is a member of the LGBT community and recently joined “Maury County Supports PRIDE” Facebook group. The 2,800 member group hopes to host the city’s first Pride Festival.

The victim was not available for an interview. Her neighbor and fellow group member, Caleb Banks, is outraged and disheartened by the incident.

“It’s extremely disappointing and hurtful to the community in Columbia,” Banks said. “It was a rather slick move especially in broad daylight. I’m pretty shocked they went after somebody without any type of pride or LGBT stuff on their vehicle. Other people in the neighborhood have rainbow flags, so it was kind of weird to see I feel like maybe it was a targeted attack.”

Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder responded to the incident and sent a statement to News 2:

“This isolated occurrence of homophobic slurs does not define who we are as a community, and I condemn them in the strongest terms. We are a community that is welcoming to all people, and as Mayor, I will continue to work on greater compassion and inclusiveness for all people, including the LGBTQ+ community.”

Mayor Chaz Molder, Columbia
  • Columbia LGBTQ vandalism
  • Columbia LGBTQ vandalism
  • Columbia LGBTQ vandalism

Lt. Jeremy Haywood with the Columbia police department says a detective will be assigned to the case. The person or persons responsible could be charged with vandalism. But, if evidence shows the victim was targeted, charges will be enhanced.

Banks is asking neighbors if Ring or surveillance cameras captured the incident. “We are not some different type of person or monster that we are portrayed to be, we are always going to be here and we are human too,” Banks said. “We are your friends, we are your neighbors, your family.”

If you know anything about the vandalism, call Columbia police at (931) 388-2727.