Two gunmen were shot and killed Sunday night after they opened fire on a security guard outside a Garland, Texas, convention center hosting activist Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” art exhibit and contest.
After the men fired and wounded the guard, identified as Bruce Joiner, Garland police officers returned fire, killing them both, according to Fox News.
The security guard’s injuries were not life-threatening and he was treated and released from a local hospital.
The shooting occurred about 8 p.m. Central Time, just as the event was coming to a close at the Curtis Culwell Center, according to a statement issued by the city of Garland.
Geller, who heads the American Freedom Defense Initiative, issued this statement:
This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?
Two men with rifles and backpacks attacked police outside our event. A cop was shot; his injuries are not life-threatening, thank Gd. Please keep him in your prayers.
The bomb squad has been called to the event site to investigate a backpack left at the event site.
The war is here.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative and Jihad Watch jointly hosted the event.
After the gunmen were shot, the building was placed on lockdown while officers searched their vehicle for for possible bombs. Bob Price, political news contributor to Breitbart Texas, tweeted:
While in lockdown, audience breaks into song and prayer. National Anthem an God Bless America pic.twitter.com/ufgR8BOOpr
— Bob Price (@BobPriceBBTX) May 4, 2015
@BobPriceBBTX @PamelaGeller Patriotism and Faith: Very alive and very well in Texas. So glad y’all are on our side. #garlandshooting
— Dean Norman (@Deannormanjones) May 4, 2015
#BREAKING Moving us all into secured room. Two suspects shot. Everyone here on their phones. @wfaachannel8 pic.twitter.com/LkuiKmeOBH
— Jobin Panicker (@jobinpnews) May 4, 2015
Jocelyn Lockwood, from a local NBC affiliate, tweeted this report:
Evacuations beginning after Garland PD killed 2 men who shot a GISD security officer – he’s hospitalized. @NBCDFW pic.twitter.com/E7hD0Zni8S
— Jocelyn Lockwood (@JocelynNBC5) May 4, 2015
Islamic State supporters tweeted that one of the gunmen was a man calling himself Shariah Is Light and using the handle @atawaakul, according to The New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi, who tweeted:
Among the ISIS tweeps who promoted the Texas attack is Junaid Hussain, believed to be ISIS’ preeminent hacker http://t.co/6JKwMzYfUU
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) May 4, 2015
Shariah Is Light Tweeted this message:
The Shariah is Light account has since been suspended.
When word of the shooting got out, Texans proudly took to social media to show their support:
#ReligionOfPeace Police shoot dead 2 gunmen at Texas exhibit of Prophet Mohammad cartoons #Islam #DontMessWithTexas http://t.co/P1Crax4mFw
— Jake (@JakeALeon) May 4, 2015
.@Babbsgirl2 God Bless our Texas Law Enforcement! Prayer & thoughts r with y’all in Garland TX! #dontmesswithtexas pic.twitter.com/44hwzkjoqW
— l_walker (@TavandAleph) May 4, 2015
Garland officials published a statement from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praising the police officers:
Gov. Abbott praises @GarlandTXgov @GarlandPD, says “Texas officials” are investigating shooting pic.twitter.com/CaQtYcZmYt
— Bud Kennedy (@BudKennedy) May 4, 2015
Here’s a video of the event itself:
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