Kristina Sitton, a lawyer who in 2010 represented one of the suspected gunmen who opened fire on an anti-Muslim event in Texas, said that the FBI had been aware of the suspect but that he “seemed pretty normal.”
Elton Simpson, one of the suspected gunmen, had been previously identified by the FBI as a terrorist suspect. Simpson was charged in 2010 with lying to federal officers, according to the New York Times. The judge ruled that there was not proof that Simpson was plotting a terrorist attack.
Sitton represented Simpson during the 2010 trial and told ABC News on Monday that Simpson was on the FBI’s no-fly list. She also said that the FBI tried to get Simpson to cooperate with them.
Sitton described her client to ABC as “harmless.”
“He grew up the most normal guy. Just a normal high school guy. … Converting to Islam seemed like a good thing for him. He had been going down a bad path and then he found Islam,” she said. “He never struck me as someone who would do this sort of thing. I’m not a bleeding heart, I’m a Republican. I’ve seen some pretty bad guys and he seemed pretty normal.”
Two gunmen on Sunday opened fire on officers outside an event in Garland, Texas, organized by an anti-Muslim group. The gunmen, armed with assault rifles, fired on two people who were patrolling the event, injuring one of them. A police officer shot and killed the gunmen outside of the event.