Less than 24 hours after a Nashville mosque was vandalized, a group of people from many different religious faiths gathered in a show of support.
The person who police believe broke into the Al-Farooq Islamic Center on Fourth Avenue South around 3 a.m. Monday has been caught, and different faith-based groups and political leaders came together at the mosque in a show of solidarity.
Earlier in the day, worshipers swept away the broken glass and began repairing the damage done by an early-morning vandal.
Kyler Wilson, 27, of Nashville was captured nearby, sleeping in a car. He reportedly told police it wasn't a hate crime, rather he had been drinking heavily.
The mosque's leaders thanked the community Monday evening for its outpouring of concern.
"For the past couple of years, the Muslim community has witnessed a series of attacks that has only made our community stronger and only has solidified our belief that we belong here. This is our home, and we aren't going anywhere," said Remziya Suleyman, with the American Center for Outreach.
The unity event drew representatives of many different religions, including David Irvine, a Roman Catholic.
"I was very distressed to hear about this vandalism this morning, but I'm glad to see this outpouring of support by the Nashville community this evening," said Irvine, of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church.
"When one religious institution is attacked, you are attacking all religious institutions. And no one has the right to take away our religious freedom," said Rabbi Kliel Rose, of West End Synagogue.
Islamic Center vandalized; suspect found in his underwear
Police arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with breaking into and vandalizing a south Nashville Islamic Center early Monday morning.
The suspect, later identified as Kyler A. Wilson, is accused of entering the Al-Farooq Islamic Center on Fourth Avenue South and ransacking the worship center.
Police were first alerted when a cab driver familiar with the facility saw an open door on a parked vehicle with Wilson inside wearing only boxer shorts.
Wilson told the driver that "he needed his space," and fled the scene on foot. The cab driver then saw that the building had been entered and damaged.
Police believe the suspect got inside by climbing through a window, then he apparently went room-by-room and trashed the place.
Faisal Mohmmed spent the morning cleaning up the mess.
"We are not terrorists. They know we are not, and they know who these people are. We are good people of the community," Mohmmed said.
Items, including tables, a water cooler, a vending machine and a microwave, were overturned.
Windows were also broken, and the windshields of two hearses parked outside were damaged.
"It's heartbreaking to see this," said mosque member Hassam Mohamed. "We feel sad and heartbroken to see what they did to the place where we pray."
Around 7 a.m., officers were called to a business at 1500 2nd Avenue South where Wilson was discovered sleeping in a vehicle wearing only boxer shorts.
Police said Wilson, who lives on Humphreys Street, told detectives that he drank heavily Sunday night and does not remember vandalizing the mosque.
Wilson, who now faces burglary and vandalism charges, said he has no animosity toward any religion or group.
The FBI is also involved in the investigation to determine whether any federal law was violated.
In 2010, someone spray painted the words "Muslims Go Home" on the same mosque's walls.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Unity event offers support after Islamic Center vandalizedMore>>
Friday, May 24 2013 4:38 AM EDT2013-05-24 08:38:10 GMT
(RNN) - A bridge in Washington has collapsed and at least two cars are in the water, according to KING 5 TV out of Seattle. The bridge is part of Interstate 5. There is no word on injuries. Copyright 2013More >
A photo from the scene showed a man sitting on top of his car, which was partially submerged.More >
Friday, May 24 2013 5:59 AM EDT2013-05-24 09:59:55 GMT
A building in Hartford has been evacuated after city officials said the building could collapse.The six families living at an apartment building on 26-28 Putnam St. have been relocated. Health and HumanMore >
An apartment building in the Frog Hollow section of Hartford that was evacuated after city officials said the building could collapse has begun to give away.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:09:50 GMT
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 13-year-old endangered runaway from Hartford. Police issued a Silver Alert for Regine Winifred on Thursday after she went missing Thursday. Winifred is beingMore >
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 13-year-old endangered runaway from Hartford.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 00:24:41 GMT
Jurors deadlocked on a verdict of life or death for Jodi Arias in the 2008 killing of her one-time boyfriend were visibly upset when their verdict was read in court, CBS 5 reporter Elizabeth Erwin said. "SomeMore >
"We will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase" of the Jodi Arias trial, said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery after the jury deadlocked whether she should get life or death.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:43 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:43:36 GMT
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Litchfield County until 7:15 p.m.The National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated flash flooding from a thunderstorm entering the area,More >
Flooding has been reported in several parts of Connecticut Thursday evening.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:37 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:37:25 GMT
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 15-year-old endangered runaway from New Haven. Police issued a Silver Alert for Starr Ogman on Thursday after she went missing Wednesday. Ogman is being describedMore >
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 15-year-old endangered runaway from New Haven.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:08 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:08:56 GMT
Five people were arrested in the robbery of $4 million in jewelry fromAccording to police, first two people were bound and gagged with duct tape during home invasion on Gravel Street in Meriden duringMore >
Five people were arrested after a brazen overnight jewelry store robbery that involved kidnapping and hours of being tied up while the suspects loaded up $5 million in jewels.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:09 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:09:33 GMT
A 14-year-old boy from Waterbury died in his sleep this week and left his parents and friends wondering why. Kimani Brown was a freshman at Crosby High School and in perfect health, according to familyMore >
A 14-year-old boy from Waterbury died in his sleep this week and left his parents and friends wondering why.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:43:24 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:04 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:04:37 GMT
A Connecticut bill banning young people from using indoor tanning services is moving to the governor's desk. The state House of Representatives voted Thursday, 117-21, to pass legislation forbidding anyoneMore >
A Connecticut bill banning young people from using indoor tanning services is moving to the governor's desk.More >