FBI has launched an investigation after a Texas man shot dead a Lyft driver, stole her car, drove it into a police station and then opened fire before being killed by the cops. Imran Ali Rasheed, 32, shot dead 26-year-old Lyft driver Isabella Lewis on Sunday and is now being investigated for suspected terrorist sympathies.
On Monday, police found a note in the vehicle Lewis was driving which prompted the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force to join 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 called a Lyft to an address in Garland, northeast of Dallas, Texas, around midday. Soon after the vehicle arrived, he shot dead Lewis, who was driving it. Following that, he stole the car and drove it for around 10 miles to Plano and entered a police station.
A few minutes later, Rasheed left the lobby where he had parked the car and returned with a semi-automatic pistol and opened fire at the cops. The officers returned fire and Rasheed soon fell onto the ground after being hit by a bullet. He was then transported to a hospital where he died of his injuries some time later.
Rasheed and Lewis were identified only on Monday after police found a note in the vehicle during a search. And now the police are taking help of the FBI. "Through our search for clues, we found a note in the car that gives us some type of motive for both of these shootings, and also a motive for us to speak to the FBI," said Jeff Bryan, chief of Garland police.
Police haven't disclosed the content of the note but have launched an investigation believing Rasheed to have terrorist links. "Rasheed may have been inspired by a foreign terrorist organization to commit these acts," Matthew DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Dallas 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.
However, DeSarno also said that nothing much can be shared right now as the investigation is still on. He refused to name the terror group, or say whether it was the same group that he was feared to be connected to in the previous inquiry.
"I don't want to give any organization the opportunity to claim credit for this," he said.
He said they believe Rasheed acted alone. There is also no evidence Rasheed and Lewis knew each other.