The recent hostage situation turned fatal shooting in Amarillo appears to be more than just an incident of workplace violence. The case appears to be a symptom of the rising tensions caused by the cultural clash from the large influx of refugees to the area.
On June 14, 54-year-old Mohammad Moghaddan entered the local Walmart in Amarillo where he worked. The man fired a handgun into the ceiling and then took two hostages into an office in the back, information released by Amarillo Police revealed.
Swat Police officers stormed into the store and were forced to shoot the Iranian refugee in order to stop the ongoing crisis. According the preliminary autopsy report released by authorities, Moghaddam died from gunshots to his upper body during the encounter with SWAT operators. Authorities claim that the case may be tied to Moghaddam being passed over for a promotion at work.
According to the Amarillo Globe News, the Moghaddam family had come to Texas eight years ago from Iran. The case of the refugee turned hostage-taker highlights the ongoing tensions between local residents and politicians and the growing refugee population in the area.
Bob Price from Breitbart Texas reported in January about how Amarillo had earned the dubious tittle of having the country’s highest ratio of refugees from Middle East nations. In January, city officials had been asking for a halt to the resettlement of these refugees because of the negative impact on their community.
“We’ve been a giving community, and it’s a huge disservice to bring in refugees in numbers that we’re not able to handle. We create small ghettos,” Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole said at the time. “A group of Somalis came in to say they had elected a mayor of their community. Then another faction claimed they had their own leader. We come to find out that rival tribes — slaves and masters — were being settled together.”