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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT/CNN) -- Craig Wilson's three mixed-race grandchildren were visiting with him when his stepson and that man's son came onto his property and beat him with brass knuckles and shot him with his own gun in what family members say was a hate crime.

The family tells us his stepson, with his son, came to Wilson's property screaming racist remarks at the family. The stepson, Jeff Daniels, and Craig Wilson allegedly got into a heated argument over his grandchildren. The family claims they threatened him, then beat him before shooting Wilson in the stomach.

They think the incident is a hate crime.

"Yes, they called him some severe names and then they told him to leave and they chased him off his porch around his house and beat him with brass knuckles and shot him with his own gun," said Julie Wilson, the victim's sister.

Craig Wilson's three mixed-race grandchildren were visiting with him when his stepson and that man's son came onto his property and beat him with brass knuckles and shot him with his own gun in what family members say was a hate crime.

Laura Runnels, the mother of the three children, remains distraught that her father is fighting for his life.

"It's just really hard to deal with right now," said Runnels, who is white. The father of the children is black. He declined to go on camera and talk with us.

According to the family, the threats to keep the mixed race grandchildren away have been ongoing and two weeks ago, the family found a cross burning in their yard.

"He told everybody that he would die for his children and to him, the grandchildren are like his and he almost paid the price this weekend," said Julie Wilson.

Wilson says this is a hate crime, but the sheriff doesn't agree.

"There was a cross burning previously, two weeks ago that police were called to," Wilson claims, "but there was no incident report filed with Smith County and we still have the cross."

The sheriff says Jeff Daniels is charged with aggravated assault and has been released on $20,000 bond. The sheriff says this is not a "hate crime" under state law. The investigation is ongoing.

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