Steve Alembik, a former Republican donor who made headlines after calling former President Barack Obama the n-word, died after fatally shooting himself after attempting to kill his wife in the parking lot of a Florida restaurant.
Alembik shot himself and his wife, psychologist Dawn Polen, in a parking lot behind the BurgerFi restaurant west of Delray Beach, Florida, on October 9. Polen sought refuge inside the eatery before he turned the gun on himself. Despite her critical condition, Polen survived the shooting.
According to a spokesperson from the Palm Beach County Office, Dawn Polen received immediate treatment at the scene and was subsequently transported to Delray Medical Center, where she underwent "emergency surgery."
Alembik, a resident of Boca Raton, had a history of political donations, primarily supporting Republican candidates. Over the past two decades, he had donated more than $200,000 to political causes, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and then-Governor Rick Scott.
Alembik gained notoriety for his controversial remarks, particularly in 2018 when he tweeted a racist comment about former President Obama, using a racial slur.
At the time, he said:
“So, somebody like Chris Rock can get up onstage and use the word, and there’s no problem. But some white guy says it, and he’s a racist? Really?"
"I grew up in New York in the ’50s. We were the k**es. They were the [n-word]. They were the g**im. And those were the s***s.”
In response to the backlash, Alembik asserted that he was not racist but rather "an emotional human being." He claimed he made the post due to his frustration with then-President Obama's remarks about the division within the GOP.
After Alembik's racist remarks attracted attention, DeSantis's campaign declared they would no longer accept donations from Alembik or his company. DeSantis's office also stated they would not return money already spent during the primary season. Separately, Rick Scott, running for a U.S. Senate seat, donated Alembik's $1,100 contribution to charity.
The news of the botched murder-suicide sparked significant criticism.
Despite his actions, Alembik was praised by far-right commentator and former political candidate Laura Loomer, who said he was "a big supporter of Republican political causes, a pro-Israel philanthropist, a loving father, and a kind and generous man."
"He was always helping others and was a fierce patriot who loved his country and was often spotted in his eccentric red, white and blue patriotic outfits like his American flag blazer and converse."
Similarly, James O'Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, described Alembik as a "passionate man" who "cared deeply about the country and the mission of showing people what’s truly going on."
Jennifer Remaland Alembik, Alembik's ex-wife and the mother of his three daughters, scheduled a funeral service for October 20 and invited other members of the Republican Party.
When not donating to GOP causes, Alembik busied himself with his company as the co-founder and chief data Scientist at SMA Communications, which provides data for corporations, political campaigns, nonprofits and government agencies.