May 7, 2015 / 8:54 PM / 2 years ago

FBI warned local police gunman had interest in Texas cartoon event

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The FBI warned police in Garland, Texas, about three hours before a shooting at a weekend exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that one of the gunmen who launched the failed attack was interested in the event, FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday.

FBI investigators collect evidence, including a rifle, where two gunmen were shot dead after their bodies were removed in Garland, Texas May 4, 2015. REUTERS/Laura Buckman

The FBI issued a bulletin to the police department saying Elton Simpson had an interest in the Sunday event held in the Dallas suburb but gave no indication that he planned an attack, Comey told reporters in Washington, according to an FBI spokesman.

“We didn’t know more that, but pushed out the intel bulletin which is a good practice, frankly,” Comey said, adding there was no actual threat information regarding Simpson.

Garland police were not immediately available for comment.

Authorities said Simpson and his roommate, Nadir Soofi, of Phoenix were shot and killed by a police officer after they opened fire with assault rifles outside the cartoon event organized by a group that had sponsored anti-Islamic campaigns.

An unarmed security guard suffered a minor wound.

Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir in Washington and Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Writing by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Mohammad Zargham

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