Shots fired at Muslim family's home near Orlando

By Amanda McKenzie, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, November 16, 2015, 6:29 PM EST

The Orange County Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible hate crime in the east Orlando area, where they said gunshots were fired into a Muslim family's home just days after the deadly attacks in Paris.

Three shots were fired at the home, on Carey Way. No one was injured, deputies said.

Amir and Nehal Elmasri said they were returning home with their four children Sunday morning after feeding the homeless.

"As I'm pulling into my driveway, the first thing that came to mind: What is that?" Amir Elmasri said. "At that point, I knew it was a bullet."

 Amir said he walked through his garage and found the bullet went through the wall of his bedroom.

"I found this," he said, pointing to the hole. "Pulled the drawer out, and I saw a little piece of metal there. Very, very thankful that it didn't have enough power to penetrate this."

Fearing for his family's safety, Amir said he called the Orange County Sheriff's Office to investigate.

"The sheriff thinks it is random," he said. "That doesn't really register with me very well."

"I can't believe it's random," Amir's wife, Nehal Elmasri, said.

"This was almost 24 hours after the Paris tragic incident," Amir added. "Of course, at that point I think somebody out there really wanted to inflict harm on us."

"My kids didn't sleep last night," Nehal said. "The little one was crying. They were scared."

Nehal said she and her daughter wear traditional hijabs outside of their home, and her kids were afraid to go to school Monday morning.

"I feel that somebody is just targeting us," Nehal said.

The family said they will continue to practice Islam, regardless of any threat made against them, adding the terrorists responsible for the attacks on Paris do not represent their faith.

"Our religion calls for peace," Amir said. "Killing an innocent life for no reason, in Islam, calls [for] exclusion from paradise."

Neighbors said they did not hear any gunshots Sunday.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said their investigation was active, but as of Monday, there were no suspects.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida said it is investigating this shooting as a hate crime and calling on the Department of Justice to conduct its own investigation.