Authorities in Ohio are investigating whether a barn fire that killed eight horses, which was ruled arson, was also a hate crime.
The barn was owned by Brent Whitehouse, who may have been targeted because of his sexuality. The barn’s remains were been spray-painted with epithets like “fags are freaks” and “burn in hell.” The State Fire Marshal’s Office said in a statement that “in addition to the fire, investigators are also looking into messages painted on the barn and barn doors prior to the fire.”
The fire started Sunday evening in McConnelsville, Ohio, and killed seven horses and one foal, WHIZ News reports.
“I just can’t believe somebody would do something like this and do this to poor animals,” Whitehouse said.