So this happened. Of course, anytime you have this kind of activity problems like this could happen. Pamela Geller knew this was a possibility, but she went ahead and did it anyway because ya know, freedom, and all of that horseshit. Well, two people are dead, one is wounded and in the hospital, and, well, freedom is now supposedly preserved for those who want to engage in this kind of hate. Pamela Geller, freedom warrior, now can claim she has a few notches in her freedom belt.
Two suspects were killed and a Garland ISD officer was wounded at the Culwell Center, where an art show centering on caricatures of Muhammad was being held.
Two gunmen opened fire Sunday evening outside a contest for cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad at Garland ISD’s Curtis Culwell Center, police said.
The two men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland ISD officer. The men were fatally shot by Garland police, and their bodies remain on the street outside the events center.
The security officer’s wounds were not believed to be life-threatening, but he had been hospitalized.
No one was being allowed to leave the facility, where an art show centering on caricatures of Muhammad was being held. Nearby businesses, including a Walmart and Sam’s Club, were evacuated.
Authorities extended a perimeter 2,000 feet around the Culwell Center, and they were investigating a car within that zone. Garland police were waiting for a bomb squad to examine the vehicle.
Reports of the incident began to develop shortly before 7 p.m., when the event had been scheduled to conclude. A speaker had finished his presentation shortly after 6:30 p.m. Throughout the event, there had been no notable protests, despite its controversial nature.
Opponents had said the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest on Sunday would be an attack on Islam. But its organizers said they were simply exercising their right of expression.
The New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative was hosting a contest that would award $10,000 for the best cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad at the venue. Caricatures of the Islamic prophet are considered offensive by many Muslims.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative paid an additional $10,000 upfront for 40 officers to work security at the event. The group’s president, Pamela Gellar, called it “the high cost of freedom.”
The event was the center of controversy since Garland ISD agreed to rent out the Culwell Center. The decision to book the event came a little more than a week after Islamic militants in France killed 12 people at satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The organizers said they were exercising their freedom of expression. The district’s decision drew criticism from critics and Islamic groups who said the event was an attack on Islam.
School Board President Rick Lambert rebuffed the criticism of the district, saying “the Culwell Center is available for rental as long as you comply with the law.”
Garland had dueling protests during a “Stand With the Prophet in Honor and Respect” in January. Some protesters called for peace and understanding, while the other group argued that Muslims’ beliefs posed a threat to the American way of life.
Security had to be boosted then, too, but Gellar said it was more than was needed.