Skip Navigation LinksASIS International / About ASIS / Who We Are / What's New / Case Study Analysis of Thwarted Texas Attack

Case Study Analysis of Thwarted Texas Attack

05 May 2015

Based on information collected from open sources and the professional insights of ASERO' Worldwide's team of experts, this case study on the attack at the Curtis Culwell Center in Texas focuses on the anti-terrorism and protective security aspects of the event and less on the intelligence perspective.

Summary of Attack

On 3 May 2015, two gunmen wearing body armor opened fire with assault rifles outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas during an art exhibit and contest hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Approximately 200 people were in attendance. The incident only lasted a few seconds and both gunmen were killed. The first assailant was killed almost instantly by Garland police officers on site. SWAT officers quickly responded to the scene and opened fire, killing the second assailant after he tried to reach into a backpack that authorities suspected might have contained explosives. Bruce Joiner, a traffic police officer working after-hours as security for the event, was shot in the ankle but was later released from the hospital. No other injuries occurred. The two assailants were identified as Elton Simpson, who was reportedly known to the FBI and had previously been the target of a terror-related investigation and Nadir Soofi.

The investigation is ongoing and still in the early stages of understanding how this attack was planned, who was involved, the details surrounding the actual attack and the possible motive. IS had claimed responsibility for the attack. Although it remains unclear where IS actually ordered the attack, this is the first incident in the U.S. that was directly inspired by the organization.

Download the complete event analysis and recommendations (pdf)