GILROY, Calif. (KRON) — Police are trying to figure out who hung a noose from a tree outside Kaiser Permanente office in Gilroy. This discovery is something that Kaiser officials say is not only startling and offensive, but painful and triggering.

Officials said a hangman’s noose was found hanging from a tree in the back parking of its Gilroy office located off of Arroyo Circle. An exact date to when it was found has not been given, but hospital officials say it is being seen as a hate crime.

Not only is there an open investigation with police, but it also initiated a private third-party investigation. The company said in a statement Tuesday:

“This alarming discovery caused shock, disgust, pain, and anguish for our staff and physicians in Gilroy and throughout Northern California. A hangman’s noose is a painful and triggering symbol of the history of violence against African Americans in the United States. Its sight stirs outrage due to bigotry and continues to be a threatening symbol of hatred meant to inflict pain. Investigations are still underway, but we are not waiting for the conclusion of these reviews to acknowledge the trauma this incident has caused.”

Hospital officials said they are providing emotional support for employees and are continuing robust security process with advanced technology to maintain safety and help with the investigation.