Slain gunmen in Texas attack seen as "quiet," "respectful"

PHOENIX -- Sharon Soofi says finding out that her son Nadir was one of the two Garland, Texas, shooters was a punch in the gut.

"I don't know how I'm gonna live with it," she said. "When your child dies under these kinds of circumstances, you just ... it just leaves you numb and empty."

Nadir Soofi was 34 and born in Dallas. He was raised Muslim and spent six years living with his family in Pakistan. He returned to the U.S. to attend the University of Utah. His mother says he ran a carpet cleaning business in Phoenix and had an 8-year-old son whom he adored.

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Nadir Soofi with his son.
CBS News

Soofi was sharing an apartment with his friend Elton Simpson. The two frequented a Phoenix mosque for Friday prayers where they were both described as quiet and polite.

Elton Simpson was 31 and known to other Muslims as "Ebrahim." He was born in Illinois but moved to Phoenix with his family and converted to Islam at a young age. He attended Washington High School, where he played on the basketball team.

Kristina Sitton represented Simpson when he was charged with making a false statement to federal agents involving terrorism in 2010. He said he did not strike her as someone who is capable of violence or terrorism.

"I wonder if he just snapped," she said. With her personally, Simpson was "very kind, very quiet, very respectful. He was devout, so he didn't shake my hand. He wouldn't shake any other women's hands in the office."

In a statement, Simpson's family called his behavior "an act of senseless violence" and added, "just like everyone in our beautiful country we are struggling to understand how this could happen."

At the mosque in Phoenix, the imam says Simpson came to prayers less frequently after his arrest in 2010. He had not been seen there for several weeks before the shooting in Garland.