New information on the planned attack at a Prophet Mohamed cartoon event in Garland, Texas invalidates initial reports that a single police officer shot and killed both suspected gunmen.
Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates said Monday that members of the SWAT team fired the final shots that killed the two men who allegedly planned to attack the controversial cartoon contest, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Initial reports said that a lone officer was shot by Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, before returning fire and killing both men. Mr Bates said that the officer did wound the men, but the fatal shots were fired by members of the SWAT team.
It is not clear why it took more than a week for officials to say the SWAT team played a role in the shootout.
Rumours have also been swirling that police were warned of an attack on the event, but Mr Bates said there was no truth to the rumours.
“We absolutely had no information that anyone, including Simpson and Soofi, were targeting this event,” Mr Bates told reporters. “That did not exist, that did not happen at all, nowhere.”
Mr Simpson and Mr Soofi, both Muslims, were armed with assault rifles when they allegedly planned to attack the Garland event. Depictions of the Prophet Mohamed are considered blasphemous to Muslims.
About 40 police officers had been assigned to the event – many more than would typically be assigned to an event that size – due to the provocative nature of the contest.
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