Two suspects, who are now dead, opened fire at a Muhammed Art Exhibit in Garland, Texas tonight. The event was held as a protest for free speech in response the recent Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The exhibit was hosted and organized by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. Participants were asked to submit cartoon depictions of Muhammed for a contest and for the exhibit. There were 200 people at the event, 350 submissions were made from all over the world. The winner of the contest is a former Muslim and was awarded $10,000.
Multiple shootings, possible bomb at AFDI/Jihad Watch free speech event in Texas: This is a war. This is war o... http://t.co/eAyMlcowMd— Pamela Geller (@PamelaGeller) May 4, 2015
"We had an event in defense of freedom of free speech in the age of jihad," Geller told Fox News, adding that when the event ended at 10 p.m. two men drove up and shot a police officer. The men were then engaged by police and killed. "This is a war and the war is here. This isn't Paris, this isn't Copenhagen, this is Texas."
"Each person is responsible for their own freedom," Geller said.
Security for the event reportedly cost $10,000 and was beefed up in expectation of an attack.
The fact is that security is massive at the event, which speaks to the eroded state of free speech in this country.
Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician who is on a variety of Islamist hit lists, was at the event.
One security officer has been shot but is in stable condition (UPDATE: He has been released from the hospital). Explosives were reportedly brought to the scene by the suspects and a vehicle is being searched. The dead suspects will also be searched for explosives. Attendees were taken away from the scene on school buses.
Tea party leader and former congressional candidate Katrina Pierson was in attendance. She said once the shooting started, attendees started singing the Star Spangled Banner and prayed.
Two suspects. At least 1 suspect is down. 2 officers shot. They are moving us to another location. Concern of explosives.— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) May 4, 2015
Shots fired from the South side of the building. Everyone inside is ok.— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) May 3, 2015
Reports of a suspect with hand grenade at the Walmart across the street. It's being evacuated now.— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) May 4, 2015
The officer will be ok. Two suspects shot dead.— Katrina Pierson (@KatrinaPierson) May 4, 2015
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
Naturally, prominent jihadists like Anjem Choudary are celebrating the attack (ironically by practicing their own free speech). I won't publish his bile here.
More on the alleged suspects:
This is reportedly the account of one of the shooters in the Garland, Texas attack: @atawaakul. His avatar is Anwar al-Awlaki.— Gartenstein-Ross (@DaveedGR) May 4, 2015
The Garland Police saved the day. This could have been much worse.
Someone tell the Jihadists that on U.S. soil, the 1st Amendment trumps their feelings, and the 2nd Amendment trumps their threats #Garland— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) May 4, 2015
Updates to follow.
This post has been updated.
Editor's note: A previous version of this post stated the event took place in Dallas. More accurately, it took place in Garland, Texas. Further, it was stated a police officer was shot. It was a security officer.