No one hurt when gunshots hit California mosque
Nov. 04, 2014
COACHELLA, Calif. (AP) — No one was hurt when gunfire struck a mosque in the desert city of Coachella before dawn Tuesday, authorities in Southern California said.
A report of shots fired was received at 5:01 a.m., and responding officers determined that several shots struck the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley building and a vehicle, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said. The building was occupied, but nobody was injured.
The shooting in the city about 25 miles southeast of Palm Springs was being investigated as a possible hate crime, a Sheriff's Department statement said.
A regional office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling for an FBI investigation.
"Any time shots are fired at a house of worship, the FBI should offer its resources to local authorities to help determine whether or not there was a bias motive for the attack," CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said.
The shooting is under review, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
"The fact that this is a place of worship, we would reach out to determine if investigation is warranted at the federal level," she said.
Last month in New Mexico, someone hurled a Molotov cocktail at the wall of an unoccupied Albuquerque mosque. No one was hurt, and no suspects were identified. Community members held a peace walk a few days later to support the mosque.
CAIR also said a threatening letter containing an unknown substance was recently mailed to a mosque in San Diego.