South Carolina: Man arrested after Muslim community reports gunshots and racial slurs

Residents of York’s Islamville community are calling a recent incident in which a property owner allegedly fired a gun into the village only feet from homes and a shrine an act of terrorism.

But the neighbor who deputies accuse of public disorderly conduct and illegally discharging a firearm balks at the notion that the dispute was motivated by terrorism. Joshua Allan Casey, 37, claims that he has been wrongly accused of shooting a gun and targeting the community.

At about 8 p.m. Dec. 21, deputies were sent to Islamville, a village of Muslim families established more than 30 years ago, after residents reported hearing gunshots and racial slurs from a neighbor, according to a York County Sheriff’s report.

Ahmad Qadri, nephew to the neighbor who reported the shooting, said gunshots had been going off earlier in the day when village leaders were camping during a young men’s retreat. Hours later, he heard gunshots again. This time, he said he spotted Casey in his backyard shooting the gun in the direction of the village.

Casey’s Acclaim Drive home abuts Islamville, with an acre or so of woods separating the home from the village. Casey’s home is within walking distance of the community’s shrine for worship and prayer, and several family homes. “He started yelling obscenities,” Qadri told The Herald. “This was an act of terrorism. He terrorized our children … our women.”

Residents called deputies, describing the shooter as a bearded man in a light-colored shirt, the sheriff’s report states. Deputies saw Casey, who matched that description, walking out of the woods. Neighbors identified him as the shooter, deputies said.

The Herald, 31 December 2013