Elton Simpson Identified As Garland, Texas Shooting Suspect
Elton Simpson has been identified as one of the Garland, Texas shooting suspects. The Arizona native was reportedly the target of a terror investigation by the FBI in the past. No bombs were found at the scene of the shooting at the free speech Muhammad cartoon contest event.
The Garland, Texas shooting suspect allegedly posted multiple tweets before the attack on Sunday. Elton Simpson allegedly even used the hashtag, #TexasAttack less than an hour before the shooting took place at the free speech event.
Five years ago, Elton Simpson was convicted for lying about his plans to travel to Africa amid allegations that he was intent on joining a terrorist group.
Garland police officers noted that two suspects began firing outside of the Texas community center on Sunday evening. One security guard was injured, but was able to shoot and kill both of the gunmen before others were injured.
John Iannarelli, an FBI agent from the Phoenix office, reported earlier today that Texas police officers had traced both of the Garland shooting suspects to a single apartment in the Arizona city. The second Texas shooting suspect is believed to have been Elton Simpson’s roommate – his name has not yet been released.
ISIS followers have reportedly been “sending messages” about the Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas for over a week. One of the ISIS posts reportedly referenced the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France and stated that it was time for “brothers” in the United States “to do their part.”
The FBI investigation into the alleged actions of the Garland, Texas shooter date back to 2007. The FBI says that Elton Simpson was recorded saying, “I know we can do it, man. But you got to find the right people that. Gotta have connects,” to Islamist militants.
The FBI recordings were not enough for a judge to rule that Elton Simpson was planning to join an Islamic terror group. Simpson was ultimately sentenced to three years probation for lying to FBI investigators.
Kristina Sitton, the attorney who represented Simpson at trial, said that her former client was on a no-fly list. Sitton also claimed that the FBI was attempting to get the Arizona man to cooperate with the agency even after he was convicted. The attorney said she saw Simpson as “harmless.”
“He grew up the most normal guy. Just a normal high school guy. Converting to Islam seemed like a good thing for him. He had been going down a bad path and then he found Islam. He never struck me as someone who would do this sort of thing. I’m not a bleeding heart, I’m a Republican. I’ve seen some pretty bad guys and he seemed pretty normal.”
What do you think about Elton Simpson being named as one of the Garland, Texas shooting gunmen?
[Image via: A Katz/Shutterstock.com]