COACHELLA, Calif., Nov. 4 (UPI) — No one was injured early Tuesday morning when shots were fired at a mosque in Southern California.
Coachella police said the incident is being treated as a potential hate crime. There were people in the building when the Islamic Society of Coachella Valley mosque was hit.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Captain Andrew Shouse said at least five shots were fired, including one that struck a Toyota parked in front of the mosque.
A man who was in the mosque at the time told the Desert Sun there were four worshipers praying.
Salah Salah, a member of the board, said the mosque was founded 16 years ago in Coachella, an agricultural center 130 miles east of Los Angeles. It now has about 90 members.
“Somebody drunk? Something crazy? Nothing ever happened here before,” Salah said. “We are concerned about our safety, our security.”
Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles, said the shooting should be taken seriously.
“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,” Ayloush said. “Our nation’s leaders also need to speak out against the growing level of anti-Muslim sentiment that can lead to such incidents.”