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FBI Says Killer Who Opened Fire In Police Station May Have Been Inspired By Terrorist Groups

Plano, TX – Federal officials announced late Monday that the gunman who murdered a Lyft driver and then opened fire in Plano police headquarters on Sunday had previously been investigated and may have been inspired by terrorist groups.

The incident began just before noon on Aug. 29 when Garland police received a call about a woman who had been shot and had her car stolen, KTVT reported.

Just moments later, at about 12:15 p.m., Plano police received a report about a man acting erratically outside the police headquarters located in the 900-block of 14th Street, KDFW reported.

Police said the suspect, who was wearing a black shirt and mask, walked into the lobby of headquarters and then left.

Then he returned to the lobby a moment later with a handgun and started shooting at a civilian police employee who was in the process of assisting a visitor, KXAS reported.

“The subject raised the weapon in his right hand and fired in the direction of the civilian employee. At that time the civilian employee and citizen were able to escape to a side room,” Plano Police Department Spokesman Jerry Minton said.

Two officers quickly responded to the lobby and returned fire, KXAS responded.

“And officers that were actually located inside the police department at that time heard the shot, heard the commotion going in the lobby. They confronted the suspect and exchanged gunfire, striking the individual,” Minton said, according to KDFW.

The wounded suspect was transported to the hospital and later died.

Shortly after the incident, officers found a car belonging 26-year-old Isabella Lewis, the Lyft driver found murdered in Garland an hour earlier, in the police headquarters parking lot.

Police said 32-year-old Imran Ali Rasheed called a Lyft for a ride and then shot Lewis when she arrived to pick him up, KDFW reported.

Authorities said they do not believe Lewis had any prior connection to her killer.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno told reporters at a press conference on Aug. 30 that Rasheed left a note in the car he stole from his Lyft driver that indicated his shooting spree may have been inspired by terrorist groups, KTVT reported.

“Rasheed may have been inspired by a foreign terrorist organization to commit these acts,” Agent DeSarno said. “Haven’t found any evidence he was directed by or in contact with foreign terrorist actors. He was inspired by the rhetoric. He wasn’t directed to do this.”

Authorities believe Rasheed was acting as a “lone wolf.”

“There’s no indication that he was working with others or that he was in contact with others who may be planning similar activity,” he continued, according to KDFW. “We’re early in the investigation, and that’s a priority investigation for us to determine.”

He also revealed that Rasheed had been the subject of an FBI counterterrorism investigation from 2010 to 2013 but said federal investigators at the time determined that he wasn’t a threat, KDFW reported.

Agent DeSarno said the investigation into Rasheed was closed at that time.

He said the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) had joined the investigation underway by the Plano Police Department and the Garland Police Department, KTVT reported.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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