Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja is considered one of the first Sikh mayors in the country and calls Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin tragic.
"It is really sad and shocking to see something like that happen to anybody, especially in a place of worship," Huja said.
For Huja, though, there's another concern. He said he received a hate email Monday morning "telling me things which I should be doing or not doing," he said. "It is sad that people feel they need to do that."
Huja desrcibed the email as misguided. The man elected mayor by his peers on city council earlier this year came to the United States from India at the age of 19. He became a naturalized citizen in 1987 and worked for decades as a city planner.
"I have a strong record of public service to my community," Huja said. "So do many other people."
Huja said he's made his mark on Charlottesville as the man credited with building the foundation of the Downtown Mall. Still, he takes pride in the foundation of American philosophy.
"One of the nice things about our country is we respect independence of our religion," Huja said. "You can follow any religion you wish to follow."
Charlottesville Police said the mayor has not filed a formal complaint and there is no investigation into the emails.