FBI officials are investigating a deadly shooting in Garland, Texas, after two gunmen were killed by police officers Sunday evening at an event holding a cartoon contest of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
Two men opened fire outside the Curtis Culwell Center just as the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” was set to wrap up. One of the suspects has been identified as Elton Simpson, an American Muslim who was once the subject of a terror investigation, a senior FBI official told ABC News.
The Pheonix, Arizona, resident was convicted of lying to federal agents about his travel plans to Somalia five years ago and was placed on probation. Reports claim that he posted a series of troubling tweets minutes before yesterday’s shooting, one using the hashtag #TexasAttack.
“My bro and myself have given bay’ah to Amirul Mu’mineen. May Allah accept us as mujahideen. Make dua,” one tweet read.
Bruce Joiner, an off-duty Garland police officer who was working the event as an unarmed security guard, was shot in the ankle by the suspects and treated at a nearby hospital before being released.
Garland police officers, who were on hand to assist with security at the controversial event attended by 200 people, reportedly fired back, killing the suspects.
“The first suspect was shot immediately,” Garland Mayor Douglas Athas told CNN. “The second suspect was wounded and reached for his backpack. He was shot again.”
The event was hosted by political blogger Pamela Geller, who is president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, in response to the controversial Islamic “Stand with the prophet” conference held at the same Texas location less than four months ago that featured New York-based Imam Siraj Wahhaj, who was an alleged “co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.