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Gunmen Dead After Attack At Muhammad Art Exhibit And Cartoon Contest In Texas

The two gunmen were identified by the FBI Monday as roommates from Phoenix, according to NBC News. The men injured a security officer at the Garland, Texas, event and were then killed by police.

Last updated on May 4, 2015, at 7:35 a.m. ET

Posted on May 3, 2015, at 9:08 p.m. ET

Gunfire broke out Sunday outside an event inviting people to draw the Prophet Muhammad.

Packed house as they award cartoonist who won Muhammad art contest. @wfaachannel8

Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative organized the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest, which took place at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. Geller has written The Obama Administration's War on America and Stop the Islamization of America, and she described the event as promoting freedom of speech, according to her website.

Media and a SWAT team were on hand before any violence took place; the event had drawn controversy as anti-Islam.

In spite of opposition, however, no protesters attended on Sunday. The event proceeded as scheduled until just before 7 p.m., the Dallas Morning News reported.
Nomaan Merchant / AP

In spite of opposition, however, no protesters attended on Sunday. The event proceeded as scheduled until just before 7 p.m., the Dallas Morning News reported.

Some reporters who had been covering the event were kept inside once shooting began.

#BREAKING SWAT tells me two men have been shot. Possibly with explosives on them. @wfaachannel8

From the cultural center, reporter Jobin Panicker with Dallas' WFAA said two men were shot, and authorities initially believed they had explosives.

According to city officials, two men drove up to the center and began shooting.

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They struck Garland Independent School District officer Bruce Joiner in the ankle, officials said. Garland police officers then returned fire, fatally shooting the two men.

The facility is owned by the school district, and its officers were assisting with security.

By Sunday night, Joiner had been released from the hospital.

"Our thoughts are with him and his family," a school district statement said.

The area around the center and Naaman Forest High School remained under police security.

A bomb squad was en route to investigate the gunmen's car, NBC DFW reported.

Garland PD waiting on bomb squad to inspect car. Says ppl got out and immediately opened fire. Not sure if explosives in car @NBCDFW

Nearby businesses and the center were evacuated as authorities investigate, city officials said.

The FBI confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it is providing investigative and bomb technician assistance to Garland Police Department, but did not provide any further information.

As officers continued to investigate in the parking lot, attendees inside began to sing patriotic songs.

Ppl evacuated singing patriotic songs. @wfaachannel8

While in lockdown, audience breaks into song and prayer. National Anthem an God Bless America

They were then evacuated to a nearby school.

Geller also said the two suspects had been killed, and an officer was also shot.

#garlandshooting cop shot - two suspects dead, awaiting bomb squad for possible explosives at our free speech event #sharia

"This is a war," she later tweeted.

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

The FBI confirmed Monday that the two suspects lived in Phoenix and SWAT teams entered their condo at 3 a.m., according to ABC News. NBC News reported the two gunmen were roommates.

ABC News also identified one of the gunmen as Elton Simpson, who had previously been investigated by the FBI for terrorism. Simpson was convicted five years ago for lying to federal agents about plans to travel to Africa. A judge ultimately ruled the government did not has enough evidence to prove Simpson's travel plans were related to terrorism.

Moments before the shooting, one ISIS supporter said on Twitter there would be an attack in Texas.

The young man said he and a friend had given an oath to the "leader of the faithful," a title associated with the supposed Caliphate created by ISIS. He called himself a fighter for jihad and asked for prayers.
Twitter: @atawaakul / Via Twitter: @atawaakul

The young man said he and a friend had given an oath to the "leader of the faithful," a title associated with the supposed Caliphate created by ISIS. He called himself a fighter for jihad and asked for prayers.

Two days earlier, another ISIS supporter had called on locals to attack the event.

After Sunday's shooting, a number of other Twitter accounts celebrated the attack as a victory, in spite of the shooters' deaths. The FBI did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News for a request for comment.
Twitter: @servantjihadee1 / Via Twitter: @servantjihadee1

After Sunday's shooting, a number of other Twitter accounts celebrated the attack as a victory, in spite of the shooters' deaths. The FBI did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News for a request for comment.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.