Woman set on fire is in critical condition - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Authorities confirm 'KKK' scrawled on burn victim's car

Posted: Updated:
Sharmeka Moffitt, 20 (Source: Facebook) Sharmeka Moffitt, 20 (Source: Facebook)
Flowers and a balloon have been left at the site in Civitan Park where a woman was set on fire Sunday night. Flowers and a balloon have been left at the site in Civitan Park where a woman was set on fire Sunday night.
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • New initiative to eat healthy at local restaurants

    New initiative to eat healthy at local restaurants

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:20:17 GMT
    Americans eat out an average of four times a week.  That is one of the big reason we are getting bigger as a nation.  KPLC's Britney Glaser reports on the new Eat Healthy SWLA initiative adding healthier restaurant menu options.More >>
    Americans eat out an average of four times a week.  That is one of the big reason we are getting bigger as a nation.  KPLC's Britney Glaser reports on the new Eat Healthy SWLA initiative adding healthier restaurant menu options.More >>
  • BREAKING: More arrests made in Cline Street drive-by shooting

    BREAKING: More arrests made in Cline Street drive-by shooting

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:42 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:42:04 GMT
    Two additional Lake Charles residents have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting last week on Cline Street, city police said.More >>
    Two additional Lake Charles residents have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting last week on Cline Street, city police said.More >>
  • What's Going Around: staph, yeast and bladder infections

    What's Going Around: staph, yeast and bladder infections

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:11:09 GMT
    It is a summer of infections - from staph to yeast and the bladder.  KPLC's Britney Glaser talks to Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh at Vinton Medical Center about what's going around this week.More >>
    It is a summer of infections - from staph to yeast and the bladder.  KPLC's Britney Glaser talks to Dr. Lacey Cavanaugh at Vinton Medical Center about what's going around this week.More >>
WINNSBORO, LA (KSLA) -

New details are emerging surrounding the critical injury of a Winnsboro woman set on fire in a city park on Sunday night.

20-year-old Sharmeka Moffitt is in critical condition at LSU Medical Center in Shreveport. Her mother, Edna Moffitt, says surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. "Both of her arms, and they are third degree burns, down her chest and legs - one. Basically her arms are real bad." Edna Moffitt also confirms her daughter was not wearing an Obama t-shirt, as initial rumors on social media had indicated.

At a news conference held just before Noon Monday, authorities confirmed Moffitt called 911 around 8 p.m. Sunday from Civitan Park, telling them she had been attacked and burned by three men in white hoodies. They say she was unable to identify her attackers. Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirms that "KKK" was scrawled on the hood of her car in some sort of paste-like substance, with a racial slur underneath.

At this point, police are not classifying the incident as a hate crime, but FBI agents are there investigating the possibility. Agents are there in addition to Louisiana State Police and local law enforcement, the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department. 

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

"This is a horrific event for our community," says Franklin Parish Sheriff Kevin Cobb. "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." He went on to tell KSLA News 12 that they have no information to lead them directly to any individual suspects at this point, but he says they are following all avenues.

The story went viral Sunday evening on Twitter and Facebook. Many of the posts speculated the attack was a hate crime. However, the sheriff's office has also confirmed with KSLA News 12 that Moffitt was not wearing a President Obama t-shirt, despite claims on social media that the t-shirt is what provoked the attack.

Family and friends are planning a candlelight vigil for Sharmeka Moffitt. It's set for Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Civitan Park.

Copyright 2012 KSLA. All rights reserved.

Winnsboro burning SIDEBAR

Updated:

Authorities: Winnsboro burn victim's fingerprints linked to lighter bottle What kind of recovery could Sharmeka Moffitt face? Burning case goes viral, rumors spread Surgery, vigil set for Winnsboro More>>

Powered by WorldNow