Two men who opened fire outside a contest for cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad were killed by police yesterday in Garland, Tx., near Dallas, the Dallas Morning News reports. The controversial event was wrapping up shortly before 7 p.m. when the two gunmen pulled up in a car and shot an unarmed security officer. Seconds later, Garland police returned fire and killed the two gunmen before anyone else was hurt. The security officer, Bruce Joiner, was treated at a hospital for an ankle wound and released. The bodies of the gunmen remained on the street outside the center hours after they were shot, and their identities had not been released late Sunday.
A bomb squad was investigating whether explosives might be in their car. Police locked down the events facility to protect about 200 people inside. After people were evacuated, they were driven to a secure location to await questioning by the FBI. The New York-based American Freedom Defense Initiative had organized the event to award a cash prize for the best cartoon depicting Muhammad. Caricatures of the Islamic prophet are considered offensive by many Muslims, but the show's organizers said they were exercising their freedom of expression.