ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A 55-year-old Orange County family’s home was shot at Sunday, causing concern that their Muslim faith may have played a part in the wake of terrorist attacks in France.
The homeowner, who told Channel 9 his name is Amir Elmasri but is listed as Mahmoud Elmasri in an Orange County Sheriff's report, was not home at the time of the shooting, which he believes happened between 8 and 10:20 a.m. Sunday.
During terrorist attacks in Paris Friday night, 129 people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Extremist group the Islamic State took credit for the attacks and warned of similar attacks in the U.S.
Section: Paris Attacks
Photos: Paris after the attacks
When he and his family arrived back at the house, Elmasri found a bullet hole in his garage door. The bullet traveled through the door, a wall inside the house and came to rest in a dresser drawer in his bedroom.
When Orange County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, they found evidence that three shots were fired at the home.
Damage to the residence was estimated at about $800.
If the impetus wasn’t religion, Elmasri has no idea why someone would shoot at his home.
“We are as peaceful as any American family,” he said. “I mean, why would you shoot at my garage?”
His family is scared that something like this could happen again, next time with someone inside.
“They feel unsafe now,” he said. “Why somebody is shooting at us, what did we do?”
Police did not have any suspects in the case and did not find any evidence that the shooting was a hate crime based on Elmasri’s religion. Regardless, the man “expressed concern and believes this incident may be retaliation toward him for the recent terrorist attacks in France because he is Muslim,” the report said.
He plans to press charges if a suspect is found.
Elmasri stressed that, yes, the terrorists in Paris were Muslim, but violence is not what Islam is about.
“They are making my religion bad,” he said. “The people who do it happen to be Muslims, but with the wrong idea.
“So just like the sick people here who shoot in theaters, they happen to be sick, but we don’t blame it on the religion.”