- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (AP) - There is no indication that a Laotian woman was a victim of a hate crime when she was fatally shot in her rice garden in North Carolina, an authority said Thursday.

Investigators still have not determined whether the death of See Vue, 60, was an accident or an intentional act, Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson said. He said the only thing authorities have ruled out is suicide.

Vue died Tuesday afternoon from a single gunshot wound at her home in Westfield.

The sheriff said there is nothing to indicate Vue was a victim of a hate crime. She and her husband were natives of Laos, he said.

“Those folks, from everything that we know, were well thought of in the community. They had been here 20 years, never had any problems with the neighbors,” Atkinson said.

He said the woman and her family had created rice paddies in several places on their property, and that Vue was standing in a garden-like area near the rice paddies when she was shot.

The sheriff said that a projectile recovered from the scene is being analyzed in Atlanta and that state authorities are helping to review evidence.

“Nothing indicates a danger in the community,” Atkinson said. “… There’s nothing that makes me think anyone in the neighborhood should be fearful to go to their garden.”

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