'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Attacked: Photo Reveals Suspects

Chicago police have released a photo of two individuals who might know more information on Jussie Smollett's brutal hate crime.

The Empire star was targeted and attacked by two men early Tuesday morning Chicago, who tied a rope around his neck, threw bleach on his face and reportedly yelled homophobic and racial slurs at him before leaving the scene.

Police released a screengrab of the potential suspects, showing two men wearing dark clothing. They were allegedly seen walking near the location of the incident between 1:30 a.m. and 1:45 a.m. Authorities are trying to determine if they witnessed the incident or if they were involved, The Blast reports.

The new image comes a few hours after Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi released an update on the case, reveling their search for the two persons of interest.

"Photos of people of interest who were in area of the alleged assault & battery of Empire cast member," Guglielmi tweeted on Wednesday evening alongside the photos the individuals. "While video does not capture an encounter, detectives are taking this development seriously & wish to question individuals as more cameras are being reviewed."

Speaking to PEOPLE, Guglielmi opened up further on the seriousness of the attack against Smollett, sharing he was hopeful the new video evidence would help them solve the crime.

"The victim goes to Subway just after midnight and on his way back, he was attacked by two men," Guglielmi said. "They were masked and wearing black clothing. They called him an Empire... and they used a homophobic slur. They also used the N-word. They proceed to assault him, and they throw a chemical on him that may have been bleach, and put a rope around neck."

He then revealed the actor returned to his apartment and called his manager, who quickly arrived to Smollett's home and they agreed to call the police.

Police patrols "responded to the residence to take a report and the victim was still wearing the rope around his neck when they arrived," Guglielmi said. "He explained to them why he had the rope around his neck, and the officers closed their body cams at his request, because they were in his private residence."

In a second interview with police, Smollett recalled the attackers referring to "MAGA" during the altercation.


Empire star Taraji P. Henson broke her silence on the serious crime Wednesday with a sweet message for her on-screen son, and other members of the FOX drama's cast have also sent messages of support.