It was first incorrectly reported that gunshots had been fired into the building.
The Reno GBTQA Community Center (OUR Center) was the site of a vandal who smashed a window and door causing an estimated $7,500 to $10,000 worth of damage.
Panic in the community was quickly thwarted after it was reported the assailant(s) had actually shot into the building, but the quick thinking of many community members including Paco Lachoy of The Reno Gay Page took to social media to correct the reports.
Board President Jeromy Manke said in a presser that he was somewhat in shock, adding, “Witnesses in the building said a man in what appeared to be a ski mask approached the building and yelled ‘Get Down’ and then hurled rocks at the windows sending glass everywhere.”
According to Menke, the incident happened early Tuesday evening on January 2, at about 7 pm while people were still inside.
Reno Police Department spokesman Tim Broadway reports that four rocks were found, three taken in as evidence.
“Right now, we are investigating the incident as a destruction of property,” Broadway said. “We are in the early stages of the investigation. But the search is on for the person(s) responsible.”
Investigators are asking adjacent businesses for any CCTV footage that may help in the arrest of the vandal(s). At this time, it cannot be determined if the crime was fueled by hate because the sexual orientation of the perpetrator(s) is unknown.
People who were inside the building at the time of the incident fell to the floor and took cover wherever they could before calling police. There were no injuries reported according to The Reno Gay Page.
“We will be open as usual,” Manke said. “This won’t deter our mission to serve, to build, to strengthen the community.”
A Facebook video assessment was taken by Northern Nevada Pride Marketing Director YeVonne Allen of the damage, it is quickly going viral, garnering 20k views and 500 shares in hopes someone will come forward with a lead in the case.
Allen dictates her concern that even in her small community this type of incident can still happen, she says in the video, “…it sort of goes to show then even in what we think is progressive Reno, that we are getting so much better, so excepting, that there are people with so much hate in their hearts out there.”
The community is in shock and saddened that this could happen in what is supposed to be free of danger, “We wanted OUR Center to be a safe place,” said Manke.
Insurance may replace some of the broken items, but OUR Center relies heavily on community donations and they are asking for the community's help to replace the windows.
Donations can be made by clicking HERE.
Anyone with information relating to this crime or the suspect(s) should contact the Reno Police Department at 334-2115, Secret Witness at 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword - SW
Photos used by permission of OUR Center Reno