Garland police spokesman Joe Harn told The Washington Post that the shooting occurred about 7 p.m. Sunday night (8 p.m. Eastern Time) outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, some 20 miles northeast of Dallas, when two armed men pulled up in a car 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 were killed, Harn said. Their names have not yet been released. The security officer who was shot was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The officer has been treated and released, he said.
The incident occurred outside the Curtis Culwell Center during a contest hosted by the New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative, which promised to award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad, according to the Associated Press. Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an outspoken critic against radical Islam, was the keynote speaker at the event. Just before the shooting, he and Pamela Geller presented a check to contest’s winner, Bosch Fawstin, according to the Daily Caller.
The competition had been a point of contention in the community since Garland Independent School District agreed to rent out the event center to the group, which is considered an anti-Muslim “hate group” by the [extremist] Southern Poverty Law Center. (Read more from “Gunmen Shot Dead in Texas After Opening Fire Outside Prophet Muhammad ‘Cartoon’ Show” HERE)