Drive-by shooting that hit the outside of a mosque near Houston sparks investigation

At least two rounds struck a car and building at the worship center and school in Katy, Texas.
Image: The MAS Katy Center Mosque in Houston, Texas.
The MAS Katy Center Mosque in Houston in 2015.MAS Katy Center via Facebook

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By David K. Li

A drive-by shooter opened fire on a mosque near Houston, striking a building and truck parked on its property, officials said Tuesday.

The incident happened early Monday morning outside the Muslim American Society-Katy Center Mosque in Katy Texas, about 25 miles west of downtown Houston, Harris County Sheriff's deputies said.

"This is scary," the center's finance administrator, Jabin Kazia,a told NBC News. “We haven’t had any problems like this; our neighbors have been good. That’s why this is so surprising."

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Mosque employees came to work on Monday morning and found a bullet hole in the windshield of a truck, belonging to a building contractor, in the center's parking lot, said Kazia.

Hours later, mosque employees found another bullet hole in front building wall but it didn't penetrate inside, officials said.

A review of the mosque's surveillance video showed a vehicle passing the center at 3:07 a.m on Monday with someone firing from inside that truck, van or SUV, according to Kazia.

"We see it looks bigger than regular car, but we couldn't tell" the exact make or model of the gunman's vehicle, Kazia told NBC News.

A spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Department said there's not enough evidence yet to call the attack a hate crime.

Kazia said the mosque, which includes a full-time school with 300 children between preschool and 12th grade, has never had any problems in its 11 years of existence.

The mosque employs an armed guard during weekday hours, Kazia said.