Two gunmen ‘carrying explosives’ attack anti-Muslim art contest in Texas: Suspects dead and security guard wounded at ‘draw Muhammad’ event that offered $10k prize
- Two suspects were gunned down after shooting the guard in the leg outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland
- Building and surrounding area was placed on lockdown by a SWAT team with around 100 attendees still inside
- Reports suggest the pair were carrying explosives at the time, and another two bombs were discovered nearby
- The American Freedom Defense Initiative event offered a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of the prophet
- Involved a keynote speech from far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has linked the Koran to terrorism
Two armed suspects believed to be carrying explosives have been shot dead after opening fire outside an anti-Muslim art exhibition in Dallas.
The pair were gunned down after shooting a security guard in the leg outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, during a ‘family event’ where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were being displayed.
The building and surrounding area was placed on lockdown by a SWAT team with around 100 attendees still inside after multiple gunshots were heard.
A contest offering a top prize of $10,000 for the best caricature of the prophet was being held as the shootout unfolded.
A police officer stands next to the pickup truck riddled with bullet holes outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. Two suspects were shot dead after opening fire near the ‘Draw Muhammad’ event
The two men are said to have gotten out of a vehicle nearby, walked into the parking lot and opened fire on Sunday evening. The exhibition inside involved a competition with a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of Muhammad
Heavily armed police secure art work inside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, after two suspects opened fire at a r before they were shot dead
A policeman keeps members of the audience inside after the shots were fired. Two explosives were also said to have been left near the building
No one was allowed to leave as surrounding businesses, including a Wal-Mart and Taco Bell, were evacuated as authorities searched for two more devices.
Two suspects pulled up in a vehicle with with explosives, before getting out and firing at the officer, identified in local reports as Bruce Joiner. They were then killed by Garland Police officers.
Mr Joiner was taken to hospital in a stable condition and is expected to survive.
The attack unfolded shortly after Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, had delivered his keynote speech.
In 2009, he sparked controversy for showing a controversial film which linked the Koran to terrorism and has previously said the Netherlands is being taken over by a ‘tsunami of Islamisation’.
Pamela Geller, the organizer, told CBS 11 from inside the building: ‘I heard officers talking of possible explosions in backpacks and the car. There was talk of a grenade at the nearby Wal-Mart.’
The outspoken leader of Stop Islamisation of America then wrote on her personal website: This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?’
The event was set up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and had been described by opponents as an attack on Islam. The controversial group booked the center a little more than a week after Islamic militants in France killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Despite criticism from residents, the organizers believed they were exercising their freedom of expression.
A picture taken from inside the event just before the attack showed Geller giving a check to Bosch Fawtin. However it is not known whether he took first place.
Dutch member of parliament and leader of the far-right Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, had just delivered the keynote address inside the exhbition when the deadly incident unfolded
The event was set up by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and had been described by opponents as an attack on Islam
An officer prevents two people from leaving the building as the area is placed on lockdown
Members of the Garland Police Department are stand guard inside the Curtis Culwell Center in the aftermath of the shooting
An audience member is told to wait after Wilders finished his speech. Attendees were transferred to the parking lot of a nearby high school
The crowd took out their cellphones to record the armed officer giving them orders
Artist Bosh Fawstin (left) is presented with a check for 12,500 by Dutch politician Geert Wilders (center) and Pamela Geller (right) during a ceremony at the Curtis Culwell Center just before the shootings occurred
Wilders, who has sparked controversy for linking the Koran with terrorism, speaks at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest
Pamela Geller, co-founder and President of Stop Islamization of America, also spoke just before the two gunmen opened fire
Members of the police and swat ask people from the audience if they heard or witnessed anything from the shooting