Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting
|Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting|
|Location||Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
7512 S. Howell Avenue
Oak Creek, Wisconsin, US
|Date||August 5, 2012, 10:25 a.m. CDT|
|Target||Worshipers at a Sikh temple|
|Mass murder, murder-suicide|
|Weapons||Springfield XD(M) semi-automatic pistol|
|Deaths||7 (including the perpetrator)|
|4 (including responding officer)|
|Perpetrator||Wade Michael Page|
On August 5, 2012, Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page took his life by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer.
Page was an American white supremacist and United States Army veteran from Cudahy, Wisconsin. Apart from the shooter, all of the dead were members of the Sikh faith. The incident drew responses from President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dignitaries attended candlelight vigils in countries such as the U.S., Canada, and India. The First Lady Michelle Obama visited the temple on August 23, 2012.
Following emergency calls around 10:25 a.m. CDT, police responded to a shooting at a Sikh gurdwara located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. On arrival, they engaged the gunman, later identified as Wade Michael Page, who had shot several people at the temple, killing six. Page wounded an officer; after being shot in the stomach by another, he fatally shot himself in the head. He was armed with a Springfield XD(M) 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol. Page had legally purchased the gun in Wisconsin. Four people were killed inside the temple, and three people, including Page, died outside. Page killed five men and one woman, ranging in age from 39 to 84.
Initial reports said the gunman had died from being shot by police officers at the scene, but the FBI later clarified that Page, after being shot by an officer, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities released an audio recording of the incident, made while the first responding officer, Lieutenant Brian Murphy, was shot by the gunman. It contained the words "I have someone walking out the driveway towards me. Man with a gun, white t-shirt," followed by the sound of gunfire. In September 2012, authorities released video recordings taken by squad cars during the incident, including the moments when Murphy was shot, and the gunman being shot by another officer. Murphy was shot fifteen times by Page, but survived.
The temple was preparing langar, a Sikh communal meal, for later in the day. Witnesses suggested that women and children would have been at the temple preparing for the meal at the time of the incident, as children’s classes were scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated the site, and police were treating the incident as an act of domestic terrorism. Oak Creek police handed the investigation over to the FBI. They were also investigating possible ties to white supremacist groups and other racial motivations. The FBI said there was no reason to think anyone else was involved in the attack, and they were not aware of any past threat made against the temple. US Attorney General Eric Holder described the incident as "an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime."
The six victims killed included one woman: Paramjit Kaur, 41; and five men: Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, the founder of the Gurdwara; Prakash Singh, 39, an assistant priest; Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; and Suveg Singh, 84. All of the male victims wore turbans as part of their Sikh faith. Four of the victims were Indian nationals, while the rest were Americans.
The injured included a responding officer, Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot fifteen times at close range, including once in the neck. He was discharged from the hospital on August 22, 2012. Sikhs for Justice, a New York-based group, pledged a $10,000 award to Murphy. Two Sikh residents of Yuba City, California donated another $100,000 to officer Murphy for his heroic act and bravery.
|Wade Michael Page|
November 11, 1971|
|Died||August 5, 2012
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Cause of death
|Self-inflicted gunshot wound|
Wade Michael Page (November 11, 1971 – August 5, 2012) was an American white supremacist then living in Cudahy, Wisconsin. Page was born and grew up in Colorado. He served in the U.S. Army from April 1992 through October 1998, before being forced out by a general discharge. In the Army, Page had learned to repair the Hawk missile system, before becoming a psychological operations specialist. He was demoted and received a general discharge for "patterns of misconduct," including being drunk while on duty and going absent without leave.
After his discharge, Page returned to Colorado, living in the Denver suburb of Littleton from 2000 through 2007. Page worked as a truck driver from 2006 to 2010, but was fired after receiving a citation for impaired driving due to drinking.
Page had ties to white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups, and was reportedly a member of the Hammerskins. He entered the white power music scene in 2000, becoming involved in several neo-Nazi bands. He founded the band End Apathy in 2005 and played in the band Definite Hate, both considered racist white-power bands by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Page's former step-mother apologized to the Sikh victims and said she had not been in touch with her stepson for the past twelve years, after divorcing his father. A former friend described him as a "loner" and said he had talked about an "impending racial holy war." According to his neighbors, Page lived alone, rarely left his apartment, and avoided eye contact with them.
Page legally purchased the handgun used in the shooting on July 28, 2012 at a gun shop in West Allis, Wisconsin. Page passed the background checks required, and paid cash for the gun, along with three 19-round magazines. The owner of the gun shop said that Page's appearance and demeanor in the shop "raised no eyebrows whatsoever."
Following the shooting, photographs of Page appeared in media reports showing him with a range of tattoos on his arms and upper body, which were said to show his links to white supremacist organizations.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards declined to speculate on the motive behind the attack, saying "I don't know why, and I don't know that we'll ever know, because when he died, that died with him what his motive was or what he was thinking."
President Barack Obama offered his condolences, calling the Sikh community "a part of our broader American family," and ordered flags at federal buildings flown at half-staff until August 10 to honor the victims. Obama called for "soul searching" on how to reduce violence. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other officials also issued statements of sympathy for the victims of the shooting and their families. Nancy Powell, the United States Ambassador to India, attended prayers for the victims at Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, said that the attack being at a Sikh temple added to the pain, and stated that India stood in support of all peace-loving Americans who condemned the shooting. Following the incident, there were vigils as well as some protests against the United States by Sikhs in India.  On August 9, Indian members of parliament in New Delhi joined ranks in parliament to offer condolences to families of the victims. Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, the highest-ranking priest within the Sikh faith, called the shooting a “security lapse” by the U.S. government, and recommended that Sikhs in the United States adopt all possible security measures at their temples. Oak Creek Sikh residents said the incident had shocked their community.
Many Sikh Americans did not approve of the protests in India against the United States, and strongly condemned the actions, such as flag-burnings, taken by the protesters. U.S.-based Sikh community groups pledged assistance to the victims and their families, and urged Sikh Americans to organize interfaith vigils. They also organized to send an emergency response team to Wisconsin.
Many other Americans held candlelight vigils in support of the Sikh community, and dignitaries such as Governor Walker attended. Congressman Paul Ryan introduced a bill in Congress condemning the tragedy which stated the House "condemns the senseless attack." On September 19, 2012, a Congressional hearing addressed hate crimes in response to the tragedy, before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights convened by Senator Dick Durbin.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Amar Kaleka, the son of Kaleka Singh, became involved in politics, supporting gun control and new legislation to reduce hate crimes. Kaleka criticized President Barack Obama, who visited the sites of other mass shootings, but not the Sikh Temple. As a member of the Democratic Party, Kaleka is running for the United States House of Representatives in Wisconsin's 1st congressional district in the 2014 election, challenging incumbent Paul Ryan.
- "Police evacuate Wis. neighborhood near shooting". CBS News. August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Hennessy-Fiske, Molly; Murphy, Kim (August 8, 2012). "Sikh temple shooting: Gun shop owner says Wade Page seemed normal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- "Sources name alleged gunman in Wisconsin temple shooting". CNN. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Ramde, Dinesh (August 5, 2012). "Wisconsin Temple Shooting: Oak Creek Incident Leaves At Least 7 Dead". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Vigil for Sikh temple victims set for Manitoba legislature". CBC News. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- "Peace prayer and vigil in Surrey for victims of Wisconsin Sikh temple massacre". Vancouver Observer. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
- Ramde, Dinesh. "Wisconsin Temple Shooting: Oak Creek Incident Leaves At Least 7 Dead". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- "Police identify Army veteran as Wisconsin temple shooting gunman". CNN. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012. "Bernard Zapor -- the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent in the investigation -- said Monday that the 9mm semiautomatic handgun with multiple ammunition magazines used by the attacker had been legally purchased."
- Goode, Erica; Kovaleski, Serge F. (August 6, 2012). "Wisconsin Suspect Is Identified as U.S. Army Veteran". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Baldacci, Martena; Smith, Matt; Candiotti, Susan (August 5, 2012). "Gunman, six others dead at Wisconsin Sikh temple". CNN. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- Dolak, Kevin; Martinez, Luis; Ryan, Jason (August 6, 2012). "Wade Michael Page Identified as Wisconsin Temple Shooter". ABC News. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Sikh temple shooting suspect identified as Wade Michael Page; Motivation unclear". CBS News. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Johnson, Mike; Herzog, Karen; Johnson, Annysa (August 5, 2012). "Seven killed at Sikh temple in Oak Creek; police surround Cudahy home". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Wisconsin temple gunman Wade Page shot himself in head". BBC News. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "FBI: Gunman in Wis. Temple Shot Himself". YouTube. Associated Press. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "Sikh Attack: Moment U.S. Gunman Shot Policeman". Sky News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- "Sikh Temple Shooting Footage Released". Sky News. September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
- Glauber, Bill (29 October 2012). "Oak Creek police officers remember Sikh temple shooting". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- "Massive Carnage at Wisconsin Sikh Gurudwara leaves 6 Devotees Dead". Biharprabha News. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- Curry, Colleen. "Sikh Temple Shooting That Killed 7 a 'Domestic Terrorist' Attack". ABC News. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Police chief: Temple shooting being treated as "a domestic terrorist-type incident"". CNN. August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Oak Creek Sikh temple shooter had military background, white supremacist ties". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Leitsinger, Miranda (August 6, 2012). "Experts: Alleged temple gunman, 'Jack Boot,' led neo-Nazi band, had deep extremist ties". NBC News. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Another person of interest in Sikh Temple shooting". WTMJ. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "FBI to probe US gurdwara shooter's racist links for motive". The Times of India. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "U.S. Sikh temple shooter was a white supremacist". First Post. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Gurudwara shooting a hate crime, top U.S. law official admits". CNNIBN. August 11, 2012. Retrieved August 11, 2012.
- "List of names of Sikhs killed in US domestic terror strike released by United Sikhs". SikhSiyasat.Net. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
- "Wounded officer at temple waved off help". The Chicago Tribune. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Sikh temple founder among the six killed". USA Today. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Seven Die in Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting; FBI Probing". BloomberBusinessweek. August 5, 2012. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
- McGreal, Chris; Williams, Matt; Choudhury, Chitrangada (August 7, 2012). "Wade Michael Page named as temple gunman as FBI examines far-right links". London: The Guardian, UK. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- "Wisconsin Temple Shooting Hero Cop Brian Murphy Shot 8 Times, Waved Off Aid". ABC News. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "First lady to see Sikh shooting victims' families". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 23, 2012. Retrieved August 23, 2012.
- Rob Parsons (September 12, 2012). "Sikhs donate to Wisconsin officer shot at temple". Appeal Democrat. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
- "Wisconsin temple shooter killed himself, FBI says". CNN. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- Abad-Santos, Alexander (August 6, 2012). "Sikh Temple Gunman Identified; Person of Interest Sought by FBI". The Atlantic Wire. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Dinesh Ramde, Todd Richmond; Associated Press (August 6, 2013). "Sikh temple shooter identified as Wade Michael Page, white supremacist (+video) Page was a 'frustrated neo-Nazi' who led a racist white supremacist band, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Monday.". csmonitor.com.
- Caroline Porter, Ben Kesling, Nathan Koppel (August 6, 2013). "Shooter Linked to Hate Group Wisconsin Sikh Temple Gunman Veered From the Army to Skinhead Rock Bands". Wall Street Journal.
- O'Brien, Brendan (August 6, 2012). "Sikh temple gunman was ex-soldier linked to racist group". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Obama calls for 'soul searching' after Wisconsin attack". BBC News US & Canada. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Alleged shooter at Sikh temple was Army veteran". Army Times. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Nicholson, Kieran; Parker, Ryan; Lofholm, Nancy (August 6, 2012). "Suspect in Sikh temple shootings linked to Colorado". The Denver Post. Retrieved August 10, 2012.
- "Sikh temple shooter had history of getting in trouble for drinking". WTAQ Radio. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Barr-Nunn Issues Statement on Wade Michael Page". Business Wire. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Alleged Sikh temple shooter former member of Skinhead band". Southern Poverty Law Center,US. August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "US gurdwara killer's mother apologizes to Sikh victims". The Times of India. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "The 'precious little boy' who grew up to be a neo-Nazi mass murderer: Devastated mother of Sikh temple killer apologizes to son's victims". Daily Mail (London). August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Piers Morgan (August 7, 2012). "Ex-friend says temple shooter Wade Michael Page was a 'loner'". CNN. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "FBI to probe US gurdwara shooter's racist links for motive". The Times of India. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Abby Rodgers (August 8, 2013). "Gun Shop Owner: Sikh Temple Shooter 'Raised No Eyebrows Whatsoever'". businessinsider.com.
- "Cracking Wisconsin Gunman's Secret Racist Tattoo Code". ABC News. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2012.
- "Question of motive remains in Sikh temple shooting". CBS News. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.
- Obama, Barack. "Statement by the President on the Shooting in Wisconsin". The White House. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- "Gurudwara shooting: US flags to fly at half-staff till Aug 10". DNA India. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Obama, Barack. "Presidential Proclamation--Honoring the Victims of the Tragedy in Oak Creek, Wisconsin". The White House. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Parsons, Christi (August 7, 2012). "Wisconsin shooting stirs Obama to call only for 'soul searching'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Governor Walker Statement on Oak Creek incident". Fox News 11. August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
- Pols React To Sikh Temple Shooting In Wisconsin Daily News (New York), August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012
- "US ambassador pays homage at Bangla Sahib". The Times of India. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Source: Wisconsin temple gunman Army vet; may have been white supremacist". CNN. August 6, 2012.
- Magnier, Mark (August 6, 2012). "India reacts with grief, outrage over Wisconsin killing of Sikhs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- VN, Sreeja (August 6, 2012). "Sikhs In India Protest Against Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting (PHOTOS)". International Business Times. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Magnier, Mark (August 10, 2012). "Sikhs in US condemn the burning of US flag by protestors in New Delhi". SikhSiyasaat. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Magnier, Mark (August 10, 2012). "Sikh rights body strongly condemn flag burners". SikhSiyasaat. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Indian lawmakers voice anger at US Sikh temple shooting". Google. Agence France-Presse. August 9, 2012.
- "Some answers about the history of the Sikh religion in India". The Washington Post. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 8, 2012.[dead link]
- Kelleher, James B.; Brendan O'Brien (August 5, 2012). "Small, tight-knit Wisconsin Sikh community shocked by shooting". Reuters. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Magnier, Mark (August 9, 2012). "Gurudwara attack: American Sikhs angry at protests against U.S. in India". The Times of India. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "United Sikhs to send emergency response team to Wisconsin to help deal with trauma". The Times of India. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- Stingl, Jim (August 7, 2012). "Outpouring of support trumps Page's hatred". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Live coverage: Oak Creek vigil for temple shooting victims". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. August 7, 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
- "Paul Ryan's First Bill Back After VP Nomination". National Journal. September 12, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Congressional hearing addresses hate crimes after Sikh attack". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. September 19, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- "Congressional Hearing Investigates Hate Crimes Against Sikhs". PBS. September 21, 2012. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
- Schaaf, Mark (October 14, 2013). "Son of Slain Sikh Temple President to Challenge Paul Ryan - Government - Oak Creek, WI Patch". Oakcreek.patch.com. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- Ramde, Dinesh (October 14, 2013). "Son of slain Sikh to challenge Ryan". Journaltimes.com. Associated Press. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
- Sikh Temple of Wisconsin official site
- Photos of 1st Anniversary Gurdwara Diwan at Oak Creek, SikhMuseum.com
- "The Nation" Relatives Speak of Those Killed in Temple Shooting", Time Magazine, 7 August 2012
- Timeline: Wisconsin Gurdwara Shooting, Sikh 24
- Gallery of images from the scene of the shooting, BBC News, 6 August 2012
- "Oak Creek Gurdwara Memorial & Remembrance Materials", South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)