Theater director severely beaten outside Dallas store

- A local theater director is recovering in the hospital after being severely beaten outside Target in Dallas.

The GoFundMe page for Derek Whitener says he had just finished acting and singing in a show at the Firehouse Theater Saturday night when he stopped at the store on Haskell Avenue to buy groceries.

Whitener told police two men wearing masks attacked him as he was walking to his car. He’s not sure why.

He was taken to the hospital and had surgery to stop bleeding on his brain. He’s now in the ICU and has a long road to recovery.

In a statement, family members said Whitener is a talented member of the local theater community and a good person who didn’t deserve to be the victim of a brutal and cowardly attack.

“Right now, our family is focused on his recovery. We want to do everything in our power to help him heal and, likewise, all that is possible to support the police in their investigation,” his family said.

Whitener’s family hopes someone will come forward with information that can help police arrest those responsible. Target also said it is cooperating with the police investigation.

“At Target, the safety and security of our guests and team members is our top priority. Our thoughts are with the victim and anyone affected by this incident,” said Erika Winkels, a spokeswoman for Target.

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