SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Investigators were asking for the public’s help to identify suspects seen on surveillance video breaking into San Francisco’s KZV Armenian School and vandalizing the campus with hateful graffiti.
At about 1:40 a.m. on July 24, surveillance cameras captured a group of four people jumping a fence and entering the Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan Armenian School, located at 825 Brotherhood Way, police said.READ MORE: As COVID Delta Variant Infections Subside Experts Warn of Winter Surge
The suspects then vandalized the school’s walls with graffiti, writing anti-Armenian messages, while the two other suspects acted as lookouts.
The graffiti was discovered the next morning and reported to police. Investigators have classified the case as a hate crime.
The incident has stunned the local Armenian community, who claimed the act was related to a current dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
“That very hatred is coming home and impacting us, our community, our school children,” said Haig Baghdassarian of the Armenian National Committee of America.READ MORE: Concord Restaurant, Bar Patrons Divided Over Vaccine Mandate
School is not in session because of summer break and the coronavirus pandemic, but the Armenian community is still furious and worried.
“When people ask why is the Armenian genocide still relevant after 100 years, this is just one clear example of why,” Baghdassarian told KPIX 5.
KZV principal Grace Andonian handed over campus surveillance video along with leftover spray paint cans to the police.
“I am very overwhelmed. I am in shock. I am so sad to see this kind of hate messages written on the walls of a school where children learn,” Andonian told KPIX 5.MORE NEWS: Newsom Signs Law to Replace Fr. Serra Statue With Memorial to Indigenous Californians
Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police’s 24-hour anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or to text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” at the beginning of the message.