An Armenian school and community center in San Francisco believes it is the victim of a hate crime after it was vandalized.
Vandals spray painted graffiti on nearly every wall at KZV Armenian School. Some of the messages left during the overnight spree directly referenced the Armenian Genocide.
"I'm shocked," Principal Grace Andonian said. "I am really shocked."
The vandalism comes amid reports of similar targeted crimes against Armenians in various corners of the world — all happening since a flare-up in border fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“Sort of a warning sign from people who are empathetic to the authoritarian regimes and the nationalism that’s prevalent in Turkey and Azerbaijan,” Haig Baghdassarian with the Armenian National Committee of America said.
Alumni, staff and supporters showed up to the school Friday to try to help clean up.
San Francisco police said their special investigations unit will lead the investigation. Officers said the hate crime aspect isn’t being ruled out, but they said the investigation is just in its early stages.