Two armed men were killed after shooting a private security guard. The incident occurred outside an art exhibit (“The Muhammad Art Exhibit”) in Garland, Texas. The event was organized and hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, an anti-Islam group from New York and the exhibition displayed cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
The exhibition also hosted a contest for the best caricature of the Prophet, with a top prize of $ 10,000.
The two gunmen opened fire at about 7 p.m. on Sunday, the 4th of May 2015.
According to police officials from the Texas State Police and F.B.I. officials, the two men pulled their car in front of the Culwell Center, where the exhibition was held and started shooting at a Garland I.S.D. security officer, just as the event was about to finish.
The officer was hit by bullets but his injuries were not fatal and he was reported to be in a stable condition in a Facebook posting written by the City of Garland, which also confirmed the entire episode on social media. Garland police officers immediately took action and opened fire against the two assailants, shooting them to death. Afterwards, a bomb squad was dispatched, for fear that the two gunmen’s car might contain explosive material that could threaten the lives of the people attending the event.
The Culwell Center, a Walmart store and other nearby local businesses were evacuated immediately.
There is also a video that shows how the event was interrupted by a security guard announcing the crowd that shootings had occurred just outside the building.
The identities of the two attackers have not been revealed yet, so it is unknown if they belonged to the Muslim community or not.
One can only speculate that the reason behind their violent assault lies in the art exhibition depicting Muhammad. According to most Islamic interpretations, any caricatures or drawings of the prophet are regarded as extremely offensive. Critics of this exhibit believed the event was an attack on Islam and disapproved of it. However, the organizers of the exhibit replied that it is only a way to promote the right of free expression and it should not be regarded as harmful to any culture.
One cannot help but remember the tragic event in Paris, at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, when two Islamist armed men killed twelve members of the staff and wounded eleven, after the newspapers had released a collection of satirical cartoons of the prophet, three years before.
Image Source: Aljazeera