Gunman in Sikh temple identified, was former soldier

by
August 6, 2012

By , Fox News

CUDAHY, Wis. –  The man authorities say killed six in a Milwaukee-area Sikh temple before police shot him was a heavily-tattooed, 40-year-old ex-Army soldier, sources told Fox News, but what triggered his rampage remains unclear.

Sources identified the dead suspect as Wade Michael Page, who was at one time attached to the Fort Bragg Army installation in North Carolina. Local authorities have scheduled a 10 a.m. press conference, where more details may emerge about Page and what the FBI is treating as an act of domestic terrorism in the temple, in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek. Six people were killed and four wounded, including a police officer, before the man being identified as Page was shot dead by a police officer.

Satwant Kaleka, president of the temple, was one of those shot. Sources told Fox News he attempted to tackle the suspect as he sprayed gunfire inside the temple.

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. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent Tom Ahern said warrants were being served at the home of the shooter.

Prior to starting the search at the 3700 block of Holmes Ave., police asked two blocks of residents to leave the area or remain indoors. FBI agents are there with an armored truck, a trailer and other vehicles. Other law enforcement officers are there too, along with a police dog.

The shooting left the local Sikh community devastated. Sikhism, a monotheistic faith founded in South Asia more than 500 years ago, has roughly 27 million followers worldwide. Most are in India, though there are an estimated 500,000 in the U.S. 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 is open to the entire community.

The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin started in 1997 with about 25 families who gathered in community halls in Milwaukee. Construction on the current temple in Oak Creek began in 2006, according to the temple’s website. Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the U.S. since 9/11, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment. Sikhs are not Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.

A woman who says she was a neighbor of the suspect tells FoxNews.com that last week she heard yelling coming from the apartment she believes is the same one the FBI is now searching.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/06/authorities-search-for-motive-in-deadly-shooting-at-wisconsin-sikh-temple/#ixzz22lcFsIVh

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