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Louisiana woman set on fire; 'KKK' smeared on her car, police say

A 20-year-old woman, who called 911 to tell them that she was set on fire by three men wearing white t-shirt hoodies, is in critical condition. KTAL's Jacque Jovic reports.

A Louisiana woman is in critical condition after she was set on fire, resulting in burns on roughly 60 percent of her body, and her car appears to have had racial slurs written on it at the time of her attack.

Val Horvath Davidson / The Shreveport Times

Edna Moffitt, the mother of burn victim Sharmeka Moffitt, wipes away tears during a press conference at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, La., on Tuesday.

Sharmeka Moffitt, 20, had parked by a walking trail in Civitan Park in Winnsboro, La., on Sunday evening to go exercise, her mother told The Shreveport Times, when she was set on fire. 

Moffitt told police she couldn’t recognize the race of her attackers but she said she thought they were wearing white hoodies. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirmed that the letters “KKK” and the N-word were scrawled across the hood of her car, written in some sort of paste-like substance, reported KSLA in Louisiana.

Police are not yet classifying the incident as a hate crime. The Louisiana State Police, the Winnsboro Police Department, the Franklin Parish Sheriff’s Department and the FBI are all assisting in the ongoing investigation.  

Moffitt said she was alone at the time but was able to put the fire out herself with a water spigot. When an officer arrived to the scene less than a minute later, she told police that three males had intentionally doused her with flammable liquid and set her ablaze.

She was rushed to the burn unit of the Louisiana State University Medical Center in Shreveport, La., where she was listed in critical condition, the News Star reported.

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Investigators said Monday were unable to question Moffitt further because of the severity of her burns. Moffitt’s mother, Edna Moffitt, said her daughter was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to treat the burns on her chest, back, arms and legs.

“They want to take the dead skin off and place other skin there if they can,” Edna Moffitt told The Shreveport Times.

Winnsboro Police said they will be tightening security at the park as a result of the incident.

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“This is a horrific event for our community,” Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb said Monday. “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."

Police said they have no suspects or motives in the attack but are pursuing all avenues of investigation. They are currently awaiting the results of a scientific analysis by the Northwest Louisiana Crime Lab of physical evidence found at the scene.

“I have no idea who did it,” Edna Moffitt told The Shreveport Times. “I want them to pay for what they did to her.”

A candlelight vigil for Moffitt is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. in Civitan Park. 

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