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No one hurt when gunshots hit California mosque

November 4, 2014

COACHELLA, California (AP) — No one was hurt when gunfire struck a mosque in the desert city of Coachella before dawn Tuesday, authorities in Southern California said.

A report of shots fired was received at 5:01 a.m., and responding officers determined that several shots struck the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley building and a vehicle, the Sheriff’s Department said. The building was occupied, but nobody was injured.

The shooting in the city about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Palm Springs was being investigated as a possible hate crime, a Sheriff’s Department statement said.

A regional office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement calling for an FBI investigation.

“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,” CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said.

A call to the Islamic Society was not immediately returned, and an FBI spokeswoman did not immediately reply to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Last month in New Mexico, someone hurled a Molotov cocktail at the wall of an unoccupied Albuquerque mosque. No one was hurt, and no suspects were identified. Community members held a peace walk a few days later to support the mosque.

CAIR also said a threatening letter containing an unknown substance was recently mailed to a mosque in San Diego.

Update hourly