ATLANTA, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- The Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts in Georgia has been vandalized and a noose found tied around the neck of a statue of the slain rap idol.
Shakur was the victim of a 1996 drive-by shooting.
The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation said Wednesday the De Kalb County, Ga., Sheriff's Office is investigating last weekend's vandalism at the Stone Mountain center as a hate crime.
Early Saturday morning, vandals defaced the building and left a noose around the neck of the bronze statue of Shakur located in the center's peace garden.
Later in the weekend, the statue was plastered with handbills covered in rants including references to Sept. 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina, as well as vague threats against various record companies and rappers, the foundation said.
A male suspect has been arrested in connection with the incidents.
"We thank everyone for their prayers and support. Although our hearts are temporarily in pain, our spirits have already forgiven the perpetrators. Hate comes in all colors and genders, therefore, we will use this act of hate and ignorance to bring our community together and to pray for the healing of those who harbor such feelings," Shakur's mother, Afeni, said in a statement.