Mosque Shooting Probe Expands

September 18, 2007

Author: David Kassabian

Source: Caller-Times

A shooting at a Southside mosque on Friday that sent a large-caliber bullet through an interior hallway happened much earlier in the day than originally thought, authorities said Monday.

OsamaBah-loul, imam of the Islamic Society of South Texas at 7341 McArdle Road, said he discovered broken glass above a rear door of the mosque at about 6:10 p.m. Friday. Police first reported the shooting likely happened between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. -- when the building was vacant.

But after police and the FBI conducted interviews during the weekend, at least one person reported hearing gunfire at about 2:30 a.m. Friday, a time authorities now believe the shooting happened, said FBI special agent Patricia Villafranca.

The bullet pierced the top of a metal door frame, traveled about 30 yards down the hall and pierced a window above the back door 10 inches higher than where it entered. Investigators found that a second round struck a metal fence made of spaced rods spanning the mosque's perimeter, Villafranca added.

Corpus Christi Police Chief Bryan Smith said he is convinced the incident is a hate crime instead of a random act.