7 Killed In Shooting At Sikh Temple In Wisconsin [VIDEO]
Six victims and one gunman are dead at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee following a shooting.
Greenfield police Chief Brad Wentlandt tells CNN says four people were found dead inside the temple, three dead outside; one of those outside was the gunman.
Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt says tactical officers have been through the temple where shots were fired about 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
One of those killed outside is the suspect, who fired on the first officer to arrive. Wentlandt says that officer fired
back, killing the suspect. He says the officer is now at an area
hospital in surgery.
WTMJ TV reports the president of the Sikh Temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was said to be one of the shooting victims. It was not initially known if he survived.
Authorities have evacuated parts of a neighborhood and are searching a home in a Milwaukee suburb
northeast of the Sikh temple where an unknown gunman killed six people Sunday.
Officers have roped off four blocks in a neighborhood with a mix of duplexes and single-family homes in Cudahy, about six miles from the temple.
The owner of one of the duplexes says authorities are targeting his property. Kurt Weins says authorities haven't told him why they're searching his duplex or whether it's related to the
shooting. He says he rented the duplex's upper unit to a man about a month ago. He wouldn't identify the tenant.
Milwaukee County sheriff's spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin says the department's bomb squad also on the scene, but has no details about why it was called.
At a news conference late Sunday afternoon, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards released no information about the suspect, including his identity or a possible motive. Edwards said the FBI
will lead the investigation because the shootings are being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.
President Obama in a statement says he is "deeply saddened" by the shooting while Republican nominee-to-be for President Mitt Romney offered "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families.
Froederdt Hospital Chief Medical Office Lee Biblo says the three victims of the shooting in suburban Oak Creek are all adult men. He did not have their identities or know why they were at the temple Sunday morning when the shootings occurred.
Biblo says one of the men is in the operating room, one has been operated on and is in a surgical intensive care unit and the third is being evaluated. He says they all had gunshot wounds to the
face, abdomen and extremities.
Many Sikhs in the U.S. worship on Sundays at a temple, or gurdwara, and a typical service consists of meditation and singing in a prayer room where worshippers remove their shoes and sit on the floor. Worshippers gather afterward for a meal that also is open to community members, regardless of their religious belief
SIFTING THROUGH THE DETAILS
What exactly happened inside the temple is still to be released. Police say they have been through the building and only one gunman was involved. No information on the shooter's motive or identification has yet been relesased.
JSOnline reported at least 20 people who were shot inside the temple, the head priest locked inside a small room with a cell phone, and shooters possibly inside holding children as hostages.
Authorities have responded with a dozen ambulances and tactical units. At least two people have been taken to the main trauma hospital in the area.
20 and 25 women who were cooking a lunch in the basement for after the service and between five to 10 children had been able to leave the temple at about 1 p.m.
Sukhwindar Nagr (suk-WIN'-dahr NAG'-er), of Racine, says he called his brother-in-law's phone and a priest at the temple answered. Nagr says the priest told him that his brother-in-law had been shot, along with three priests.
New York Police are stepping up security at sikhs in the city in the wake of the shooting.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
STATEMENT FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA
Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin.
At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded. My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation.
As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.
STATEMENT FROM MITT ROMNEY
Ann and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of today’s shooting in Wisconsin. This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship.
Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead.
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)