ORLAND PARK, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) –
Authorities believe a bullet was fired through the dome of an Orland Park mosque Tuesday morning, damaging the building during a prayer service.
No one was hurt when the single shot was fired through the dome of the Orland Park Prayer Center a few minutes after 6 a.m. during the Fajr, or break-of-dawn prayer, according to a statement from the Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
People inside told police they heard a loud bang, and noticed some flakes of drywall had fallen from the ceiling beneath the dome area, Orland Park Police Lt. Tony Farrell said.
At the time, about 40 people were in the mosque at 16530 104th Ave. in Orland Park, but no one was hurt, according to authorities and CAIR.
Officers found two holes in the ceiling, and used an aerial ladder from the fire department to inspect the outside of the dome, where authorities found another small hole, Farrell said.
Authorities are assuming the holes came from a shot fired from a firearm, but do not have the capabilities to go into the very high ceiling to recover a possible bullet, he said.
Orland Park police are increasing police patrols near the mosque because of the incident.
“Incidents such as this have a chilling effect on worshippers,” CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab said in the statement.
“No one should have to go to their place of worship worried if they’ll make it back home alive,” Rehab said.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago has also reached out to the mosque to offer its assistance, it said in a release.
“Attacks like these are very troubling as they put innocent human lives in danger and disrupt peace and safety in the greater Chicagoland community.” CIOGC spokesman Aymen Abdel Halim said in a release.
As of Tuesday evening, authorities do not know where the shot came from, Farrell said. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (708) 349-4111.