[guest post by Dana]
Two gunmen were shot and killed by the police in Garland, Texas tonight when they opened fire at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest:
Garland police spokesman Joe Harn told The Washington Post that the shooting occurred Sunday night outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, about 20 miles northeast of Dallas, when two armed men pulled up in front of the event center and both started shooting at a Garland Independent School District security officer. In response, Garland police opened fire on the two gunmen, he said.
Both gunmen have been killed, Harn said. The security officer who was shot has been treated and released from a nearby hospital.
The incident occurred outside the Curtis Culwell Center where the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) was hosting a contest that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad, according to the Associated Press. But Harn said its still unclear whether the shooting was related to the event.
After the shooting, attendees were evacuated by school buses. Police suspect the vehicle may contain an incendiary device and the bomb squad is on the scene, according to a statement from police. Nearby businesses such as Academy Sports, Walmart and Sam’s were also evacuated.
Event organizer Pamela Geller has posted tweets from Muslims voicing their support of the gunmen.
ADDED: Unbelievably, from New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi:
Free speech aside, why would anyone do something as provocative as hosting a "Muhammad drawing contest"?
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) May 4, 2015
If you’re a member of the press, the very, very last thing you should ever say or think is free speech aside. Could there be any more powerful statement to evidence a critical lack of understanding about and diminished view of our country’s most important foundational cornerstone?