(EDGE) A theater director in Dallas suffered a skull fracture after being attacked by pipe-wielding masked men in a Target parking lot Saturday night, Dallas News reports.
Derek Whitener, the artistic and education director of The Firehouse Theatre, was hospitalized at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas after the incident.
Whitener, 33, stopped by Target on his way home from work. As he headed back to his car, two masked men attacked him with a pipe, according to the Firehouse Theatre's executive director David Moore. The men did not steal anything and a police report was filed.
After suffering a fractured skull, Whitener underwent surgery Sunday, Moore said, Dallas News reports. Whitener is expected to leave the hospital Thursday.
Although authorities have yet to make any arrests or determine the motivation of the attack, Whitener's friends say the attack is an anti-gay hate crime, according to the Dallas Voice.
Whitener's friend Briana Wingo launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Whitener's medical expenses and loss of income. Click here to donate and read Wingo's statement below.
On Saturday, January 14th, Derek Whitener finished acting and singing in a show at the Firehouse Theatre in Dallas, Texas . After the show he stopped by Target on his way home to buy groceries. On his way out of Target he was brutally attacked by 2 masked men in the parking lot. We don't know who they were or what their motive was at this point. All we know is they beat my friend so badly, that on January 15th he was rushed into surgery to stop the bleeding on his brain. Before his surgery he was having difficulty forming words - a horrifying thing for someone as smart and quick-witted as Derek. They believe the surgery was a success but won't be sure until the swelling subsides. He is currently in the ICU, and the overall the recovery will be at least 6-8 weeks. He will be unable to work that entire time. We've set up this GoFundMe to help offset the cost of medical bills and loss of income.