Authorities have identified both of the suspected shooters who were killed Sunday after they allegedly opened fire on a Texas cartoon exhibition that featured images of the prophet Mohammad.
Elton Simpson, 30, and Nadir Soofi, 34, injured a officer when they fired assault rifles at the exhibition in Garland, Texas, just before 7 p.m., the Washington Post reports.
The two men were shot and killed by the officer, Bruce Joiner, who normally works a traffic beat as a local school district security officer but was at the controversial event as a part of a robust security detail, Garland police spokesperson Joe Harn said.
The event, a contest for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, had a heavy police presence owing to its controversial nature. Islam largely prohibits depictions of Muhammad, and similar cartoons published in the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo inspired a deadly attack by Islamist extremists on its Paris offices in January.
Simpson had previously been suspected of of attempting to travel overseas to wage jihad, or holy war, according to courts documents; Soofi was his roommate. The FBI did not believe the incident was connected to an international terrorist group, and the Garland police spokesperson did not say if the shooting was directly related to the event.
“We were able to stop those men before they were able to penetrate the area and attempt to shoot anyone else,” Harn said.
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