Gunfire damages local Islamic Community Center; police, FBI investigating
Thursday night Members of Texas A&M's Anti-Racism group gathered at the Islamic Community Center in College Station as a sign of support after the local mosque was attacked by gunfire early in the morning.
The center was damaged in the shooting.
We met with members of the Islamic community and look into the investigation.
Police say they've found at least five bullets that hit the entrance of Islamic Center in College Station off Cherry Street.
"It's of course very shocking, on the other hand you know anti-Muslim incidents have been happening around the country," said Anwer Ahmed, Ph.D., who is the President of the Islamic Community of B/CS.
He called 911 early Thursday morning when he arrived for prayer.
At their regular 2 P.M. prayer they prayed about God's greatness, giving Him thanks.
"Our Prophet taught us that whenever we are in times of difficulty we should say that we depend on God and He's sufficient for us," he added.
Fortunately nobody was here at the time of the shooting. It comes following the holy month of Ramadan. The Islamic Center of B/Cs has had a presence here since the mid-1980's they've never had an incident like this.
"Just yesterday we had our end of our Ramadan celebration and we had almost 500, 600 people...So thank God it didn't happen yesterday," said Ahmed.
The FBI and College Station Police are investigation.
"We need to attempt to identify the motive right now. We don't know what that is we don't have a suspect right now....We don't' want our people living in fear we will have an increase presence," said Lt. Steve Brock of College Station Police Department.
Nimrah Riaz is a Texas A&M Master's Student and member of the Mosque's board and says their religion is about peace.
"We were very shocked when it happened I was in disbelief mode for quite a bit that this happened here, but after that we just had a downpour of love and support that have overwhelmed us," she said.
Ahmed had this message for the shooter.
"I feel very sorry for you and if you are doing this out of ignorance I'd hope you'd learn more about Islam and if it's you know something else then you know seek help," he said.
A number of Aggies attend the center.
In a statement, Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said in part.
We are saddened that such an incident would occur anywhere especially in our community.
Our concern is always the safety and well-being of everyone and those for whom this place of worship has special meaning.
We will be reaching out to provide support to those impacted.
The Islamic Community Center in College Station suffered damage from gunfire early Thursday morning in an incident that is now under investigation by local and federal authorities.
According to the College Station Police Department, officers responded to the center, which is operated by the Islamic Community of Bryan-College Station, on Stasney Street about 4:30 a.m. A person had called saying they had heard four gun shots.
CSPD reports they found the damage at the center. A News 3 crew at the scene found glass at the entrance to the facility broken out, along with a bullet hole near the front doors.
CSPD notes no one was injured, and no one was inside the facility at the time.
Police are partnering with the FBI to investigate the incident. CSPD has not said whether investigators believe the center was specifically targeted.
If you have information regarding this shooting, you're asked to contact CSPD at (979) 764-3600.
The Islamic Community of Bryan-College Station notes on its website that it is a non-profit formed in 1988 to be "the official representative of Muslims living in the Bryan/College Station area."
Wednesday was Eid, the religious holiday for the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
"We aim to fulfill the spiritual and social needs of Muslims in the area," the ICBCS website reads. "We also work to foster harmony and engage with the larger community by communicating the proper understanding and knowledge of Islam and Muslims."
"We are deeply concerned by police reports that the Islamic Community Center located north of the Texas A&M campus was damaged by gunfire earlier today and are grateful that no one was injured.
"We are saddened that such a deplorable incident would occur anywhere — and especially in our community. Our primary concern is always the safety and well-being of everyone in our university community — and particularly those for whom this place of worship has special meaning. Therefore, we will be reaching out to provide support to those impacted, as is in keeping with the values for which we as Aggies stand.
"While the incident did not occur on the Texas A&M campus, nor do we have any information indicating that anyone associated with Texas A&M was involved, our police department will be closely monitoring the situation."