GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A note left in the vehicle of a Lyft driver who was shot and killed Sunday, August 29, suggests the murder suspect “may have been inspired by a foreign terrorist organization,” said Matthew DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Dallas.
Authorities on Monday identified the Lyft driver and the shooter, who was later shot and killed by Plano Police at police headquarters.
The driver, Isabella Lewis, 26, of Garland, was shot and killed by Imran Ali Rasheed, 32, when she went to pick him up, police said.
DeSarno said the Dallas FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force has joined in the investigation by the Plano and Garland Police Departments to see what led to the murder and if it was an act of terrorism.
“Rasheed may have been inspired by a foreign terrorist organization to commit these acts,” DeSarno said. “Haven’t found any evidence he was directed by or in contact with foreign terrorist actors. He was inspired by the rhetoric. He wasn’t directed to do this.”
Rasheed was also the subject of a counterterrorism investigation from 2010 to 2013.
“At this point, we do not believe the suspect was provided assistance by others or that others were involved in the incident,” said DeSarno.
There is no indication Rashid and Lewis new each other.
CBS News reports a federal law enforcement source said investigators are searching for a motive for the attacks, trying to determine whether the suspect may have been self radicalized.
They are looking into whether he had downloaded videos and other materials posted online by terror groups as motivational tools targeting for westerners to commit acts of terrorism.
ISIS snd al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are very active on the internet posting inspirational material promoting others to commit terrorist acts.
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Just before noon on Sunday, Garland police responded to a gunshot wound call in the 400 block of Forest Gate Drive.
Police say the caller stated someone was shot and the victim’s vehicle was stolen.
When officers arrived, they found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
“She was either going there to pick up a client or going there to drop off a client, we’re still kind of unsure why she was at that location but it was a hired ride,” said Matt Pesta of the Garland Police Department.
A spokesperson for Lyft has since released the following statement:
“We are heartbroken by this incident and our hearts are with the driver’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time. Safety is fundamental to Lyft and we are ready to assist law enforcement.”
Minutes later, at approximately 12:15 p.m., officers responded to a complaint of a man “behaving erratically” in front of the Plano Police Department.
Prior to their arrival, the suspect entered the department’s lobby. And upon entering the lobby a second time, officials say he displayed a handgun, raised it and then fired it in the direction of a civilian police employee who was assisting a visitor.
Both the employee and visitor took shelter in a secure room off the lobby of the department, police said. At that time, two police officers reportedly responded from inside the building and exchanged fire with the suspect.
No police employees or visitors were injured.
“We have no idea why he came to Plano to find police officers,” said Plano Police Chief Ed Drain on Monday.
Plano Mayor John Muns released the following statement on Sunday:
“What could have been a horrific tragedy was avoided, thanks to the swift and effective action of our Plano police officers… I applaud the response of the officers who responded who stopped a dangerous situation from taking a deadly turn.”