Coachella police are investigating a possible hate crime at the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley.
Police responded to the report of shots fired around 5 a.m. Tuesday in the 84000 block of Avenue 49. They say several shots had been fired striking the building and a vehicle.
There were no injuries even though the building was occupied at the time by four men doing their morning prayers.
“I know we have been getting a lot of bad press lately around the world, but that is not what Islam is,” say Reymundo Nour, President of the Islamic Society of Coachella Valley. “We invite the community to come out and talk to us. We are for peace,” said Nour.
“At this point a reasonable person would think that when a mosque is targeted it could possibly be a hate crime,” says Captain Andrew Shouse with the Riverside County Sheriffs Department.
Leaders of the mosque are worried about the safety of Muslims who come and worship at the Islamic Society.
“We have families and children coming here and we are concerned for their safety,” says Nour. “We have quite a big audience coming and if something that this happens when they are around it would be a sad day for everyone,” says Nour.
The police department encourages citizens to report any criminal activity. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Coachella Police Department at (760) 863-8990.