Two Phoenix roommates, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were killed after they opened fire in a parking lot outside of a Prophet Mohammed carton contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas on Sunday, May 3, 2015.
The Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest was coming to a close on Sunday night when the suspects drove up to the parking lot entrance wearing body armor. They got out of their car and began firing with assault rifles.
Bruce Joiner, a security officer and Garland Independent School District employee, was shot in the lower leg and suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He was in stable condition at a local hospital.
After he was shot, a Garland Police Officer next to him shot and killed Simpson and Noofi with just a duty pistol. Authorities have not yet released the name of this officer.
“It is really brave and amazing how the cop killed both gunmen even though they had better guns, especially when there were two of them and only one of him ,” said freshman Connor Carey.
The exhibit was placed on lockdown, and the 200 attendees were moved to a nearby high school. The cars and nearby areas were checked for explosives, but none were found.
The event organizers had paid $10,000 for added security, and a SWAT team and bomb squad were present on the site when the shooting erupted.
The FBI said the two suspects lived in an apartment in northwest Phoenix, and agents began searching that complex the day after the shooting.
One of the suspects, Simpson, had a criminal and terroristic history. In the beginning of 2009, the FBI was investigating whether Simpson and some of his associates were planning to travel to Somalia and join the terror group al-Shabaab.
Simpson was also convicted of terrorism-related charges in 2011. He told the FBI that he was tired of living under non-Muslims, and wanted to kill all non-Muslims.
A group called the American Freedom Defense Initiative hosted the Mohammed cartoon exhibit and the $10,000 cartoon contest.
Authorities believe president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, Pamella Geller, had been singled out. Previously, Geller had campaigned against the building of an Islamic center blocks from the World Trade Center site, and is known for criticizing elements of Islam.
The exhibit contained images of the Prophet Mohammed, both historic and contemporary.
Showing pictures of Mohammed is considered to be sacrilegious. It is unacceptable to show drawings or cartoons of him, even if their are respectful. Many Muslims condemned this act of violence, but they also were totally against the art exhibit and contest, protesting against the contest.
“The people hosting this exhibit should’ve expected this attack because of how controversial and disrespectful this event was. It angered many Muslims and caused tension,” said freshman Jake Lebow.
ISIS claimed on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 to have been responsible for the attack. There is no evidence that confirms whether ISIS actually was responsible for the attack or not.
How do you think the United States will handle all these terror attacks and terror threats?