Shots fired into Indianapolis mosque on holy day

Crime

INDIANAPOLIS– Faith leaders with the Muslim community are condemning an attack on a place of worship.

Over the weekend, someone fired shots into the Masjid-E-Noor mosque on Lafayette Road.

Two bullets tore into this mosque and nearly hit one worshipper inside following a sunset prayer on Sunday.

“We were about to leave and we heard four to five shots and we were shocked and we ran to the hallway and hid over there,” said Mohammed Chughtai.

Mohammed recalls ducking for cover and calling 911. Later he realized a bullet had also hit the back window of his car.

“We were shocked. We couldn’t imagine this happening to us,” said Chughtai.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the mosque only had a half-dozen worshippers inside at the time. Leaders believe that likely helped them avoid having someone hit by the gunfire.

“We think it’s clear our mosque was targeted because it represents the Muslim faith,” said Shamaas Hassan Nyazee with Masjid-E-Noor.

The shooting took place on what is considered a holy day for the Muslim community, marking the end of Ramadan.

“Just to realize this happened on Eid, the holiest day in the Muslim calendar is just disheartening,” said Hiba Alami with Indiana Muslim Advocacy Network.

“If we were having an Easter celebration, and someone shot into a church, it would devastate us,” said pastor Jerry Zehr with Carmel Interfaith Alliance.

Pastor Zehr added he believes an attack on any faith is an attack on all.

“We need to support them because if it happens to us, we would want others to stand with us in solidarity as well,” said Zehr.

Surveillance cameras did capture a picture of a red car as it sped past the mosque during the shooting. The picture is too blurry to see a make or model, but everyone is hoping the gunman is brought to justice.

“Quite frankly at the moment it’s a little scary to come to your place of worship knowing there could be someone out there trying to cause you harm,” said Nyazee.

So far police have not released any additional information on a suspect, but as always anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

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