Sikh Temple Shooter Identified As Wade Michael Page [VIDEO]
Police near Milwaukee are calling a shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin domestic terrorism as the gunman is identified.
Federal officials say the gun used by Wade Michael Page to kill six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was bought legally and they have no reason to believe anyone but the slain gunman was
involved in the shooting.
FULL COVERAGE: 7 Killed In Shooting At Wisconsin Sikh Temple
FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said Monday that officials aren’t aware of more threats to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
She says the FBI is investigating the Sunday shooting as a possible act of domestic terrorism but doesn’t know a motive at this time.
WHO IS WADE MICHAEL PAGE?
The Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights group has identified Page as a known white supremacist. Page reportedly had tattoos associated with a site supremacist group.
Page served from 1992-1998 and received a less-than-honorable discharge according to CBS News. He was first stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the psychological operations unit in 1994, and was last stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, attached to the psychological operations unit.
WIDE AGE RANGE FOR VICTIMS
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards says the six people killed ranged in age from 39 to 84 years old.
He says those killed included a 41-year-old woman and five men. Edwards says two other men wounded in the shootings remain hospitalized in critical condition, along a police officer shot by
A vigil organized primarily by social media took place in Milwaukee’s Cathedral Square on Sunday night according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal
The vigil did not have an agenda and the crowd stood in a loose circle, waiting for someone to speak. The first man to step up led the crowd in “The Lord’s Prayer.” One by one, other people spoke up with unscripted words. From around the circle came:
“This isn’t about the city of Oak Creek, we are all responsible.”
“I’m an atheist and I stand behind every peace loving religion.”
“Thank you for showing your solidarity and support, it’s about respecting life.”
Satpal Kaleka, wife of the temple’s president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was in the front room and saw the gunman enter the temple, according to Harpreet Singh, their nephew.
“He did not speak, he just began shooting,” said Singh, relaying a description of the attack from Satpal Kaleka.
Kaleka said the 6-foot-tall bald white man — who worshippers said they had never before seen at the temple — seemed like he had a purpose and knew where he was going.
Late Sunday, the investigation appeared to move beyond the temple as police, federal agents and the county sheriff’s bomb squad swarmed a neighborhood in nearby Cudahy, evacuated several homes and searched a duplex. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Tom Ahern said warrants were being served at the gunman’s home.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said police expected to release more information Monday. He said the FBI will lead the investigation because the shootings are being treated as domestic terrorism, or an attack that originated inside the U.S. Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News the suspected gunman had no obvious connection to domestic terror or white supremacist groups and apparently was not on any list of suspected terrorists
“While the FBI is investigating whether this matter might be an act of domestic terrorism, no motive has been determined at this time,” Teresa Carlson, Special Agent in Charge with the agency’s Milwaukee division, said in a statement Sunday night.
CHAOS IN THE FIRST FEW HOURS
During a chaotic few hours after the first shots were fired around 10:30 a.m., police in tactical gear and carrying assault rifles surrounded the Sikh temple with armored vehicles and ambulances. Witnesses struggled with unrealized fears that several shooters were holding women and children hostage inside.
Edwards said the gunman “ambushed” one of the first officers to arrive at the temple as the officer, a 20-year veteran with tactical experience, tended to a victim outside. A second officer then exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was fatally shot. Police had earlier said the officer who was shot killed the suspected shooter.
The wounded officer was in critical condition along with two other victims Sunday night, authorities said. Police said the officer was expected to survive.
Tactical units went through the temple and found four people dead inside and two outside, in addition to the shooter.
Sikh attack spreads fear among US Sikh population
Leaders of Sikh organizations nationwide say Sunday’s killings at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee have brought to the surface fears that have lingered since 9/11.
The chairman of the Washington-based Sikh Council on Religion and Education says the shooting was just a matter of time because some people confuse Sikhs with “being members of Taliban or belonging to (Osama) bin Laden.”
WHAT IS SIKH?
According to sikhs.org, Sikh is a way of life and philosophy well ahead of its time when it was founded over 500 years ago, The Sikh religion today has a following of over 20 million people worldwide. Sikhism preaches a message of devotion and remembrance of God at all times, truthful living, equality of mankind, social justice and denounces superstitions and blind rituals. Sikhism is open to all through the teachings of its 10 Gurus enshrined in the Sikh Holy Book and Living Guru, Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sikh Indians, because of religious tradition, wear turbans to cover their uncut hair and have longer beards. They are often mistaken for Muslims and have been the targets of racially-motivated crimes by anti-Muslim people and groups, as evidenced by the epithets shouted at them, according to the news release. (Oak Park, Wisconsin Patch)