Muslims hate free speech!
The pair were gunned down after shooting a security guard in the leg outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, during the controversial event where caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad were being displayed.
FBI bomb squad robots were then sent in to check the suspect’s vehicle, as the two bodies lay on the road beside it, with police fearing there could be ‘incendiary devices inside’.
A contest offering a top prize of $10,000 for the best caricature of the prophet was just minutes from finishing when the shootout unfolded.
The event had been condemned by critics as an attack on Islam, but the organizers insisted they were simply practicing free speech.
After the shooting 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.
Those inside started to sing patriotic songs, including the national anthem and God Bless America, and said a prayer for the injured security guard after one woman pulled out an American flag form her bag.
Two suspects pulled up in a vehicle with with explosives, before getting out and firing at the officer, identified as 57-year-old Bruce Joiner, who was employed by the independent school district. Mr Joiner was taken to hospital in a stable condition and was released later on Sunday evening.
Garland Police officer Joe Harn said they had been monitoring the build-up to the event and had not received any credible threats.
During a press conference on Saturday evening, he described how the shootout lasted only seconds. He insisted the force are being ‘cautious’ about everything and would keep the area closed off until it was deemed safe.
He said: ‘Because of the situation of what was going on today and the history of what we’ve been told has happened at other events like this, we are considering their car (is) possibly containing a bomb.
Johnny Roby of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was attending the conference. He said he was outside the building when he heard around about 20 shots that appeared to be coming from the direction of a passing car.
Roby said he then heard two single shots. He said he heard officers yell that they had the car before he was sent inside the building.
Randy Potts, a contributor for The Daily Beast, was watching the speeches wrap up when a man wearing camouflage shouted: ‘Get inside the conference room now!
‘The room was oddly quiet,’ he said. ‘A hush fell over the crowd of about 150, as if we were listening for something outside. Then a camo-clad security guard with a rifle got up on stage and announced that a cop and two suspects had been shot.’
He described how security surrounding the event was evident even as he drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center. The parking lot was surrounded by yellow tape and his ID was checked twice before he was allowed to enter.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott described the incident as a ‘senseless attack’ and praised the ‘swift action’ of Garland law enforcement.