Breaking News: Sikh Temple Shooter Identified With Neo-Nazi Ties
OAK CREEK - The FBI, ATF, Oak Creek Police and other law enforcement officials are taking Monday to investigate the crime scene and the circumstances surrounding a massacre at a Sikh Temple.
Multiple news outlets reported that the shooter at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin was Wade Page, 40.
Those news sources said that Page was a man who served in the U.S. Army. NBC News reported Page was the leader of a neo-Nazi music band.
Autopsies were scheduled Monday for the seven people who died, including the shooter, during shootings at and outside the Sikh Temple.
"He didn't seem like he was a neo-Nazi...he seemed like a pretty normal guy," said Peter Hoyt, who said he was a neighbor of Page's to TODAY'S TMJ4's Jermont Terry on "Live at Daybreak."
He was reportedly part of the neo-Nazi band "End Apathy."
TODAY'S TMJ4's Steve Chamraz also reports that Page was demoted while in the Army.
Hoyt also said Page, who served American in the Iraqi conflict, moved to his Cudahy home after a breakup with his girlfriend. He called Page "a normal guy who had a bad breakup."
The shootings happened at about 10:25 a.m. Sunday morning at the Sikh Temple, on the 7500 block of South Howell Avenue in Oak Creek.
A hotline has been established for family members looking for information on those involved: 1-888-298-1964.
A victims memorial fund has been set up and donations may be mailed to:
Victims Memorial Fund
Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
7512 S. Howell Ave
FBI, police and other investigators investigated a home in Cudahy, believing it possibly could be that man's home.
"Right now, the crime scene is still being worked by the FBI emergency response team," said Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards on "Live at Daybreak."
"They were out there last night, photographing, collective evidence. We're hoping they'll have that scene completed by midnight tonight."
One of the people who was killed was the temple's president, Satwant Singh Kaleka. His son says the FBI described him as a hero for possibly saving others' lives in the temple.
A police officer was also shot and was in surgery at Froedtert Hospital, according to Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt who was assisting Oak Creek Police. He did not divulge the officer's condition.
Another police officer shot and killed the shooter. There was no word of any injuries to that officer.
Authorities were expected to release new details during a news conference at 10:00 a.m. Monday morning at the Oak Creek Police station.
Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi tweeted, "I received a call from President Obama offering his condolences to our City. His words were comforting on a very difficult day."
Chief John Edwards said Sunday that they were investigating the shootings as an incident of domestic terrorism. They believed the dead gunman was responsible, but were still searching the area.
Three adult men were also being treated at Froedtert for shooting wounds. They were in critical condition, and one of them was going to undergo what reportedly was a "complicated procedure," according to a spokesman.
According to reports, one man was shot in the face and extremities, while another was shot in the stomach.
Police believe the shooter killed two victims outside, then went inside the temple and killed four more people.
"The emergency medical personnel, the tactical personnel who have gone through the scene, they have initially identified what they believe to be four deceased inside the temple, and three deceased outside the temple, one of whom is the shooter," said Wentlandt.
Police did not initially identify any additional gunman on scene, but did not rule out the possibility of additional shooters.
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.
"An officer arrived on scene. He engaged an active shooter. The officer was shot multiple times. He has been transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive," said Wentlandt.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said that another officer shot and killed the shooter.
"It stopped a tragic event that could have been a lot worse," said Edwards.
Pictures from Chopper 4 showed at least four people who were shot, though Oak Creek Police did not confirm those reports.
"They went to church not knowing they might die today," said a woman who identified herself as the niece of the temple's president in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Dan O'Donnell.
"My friend called and said 'I heard the shot, and two people falling down in the parking lot.' He saw the shooter reloading the gun again," said witness Suni Singh to O'Donnell.
There was no initial word on how many people were inside when the shooting happened. The temple holds hundreds of worshipers.
The Sikh Society of Wisconsin said they were meeting to decide how to proceed and "move forward after this tragic event. The society is headquartered in Madison. A member says the news is shocking. The society is still gathering all the information it can and will be reaching out to the Oak Creek Temple during its time of need."
"The city of Oak Creek is outraged by the senseless act of violence...our thoughts and prayers go out," said Mayor Steve Scaffidi.
Check back for more details on this breaking story as they come in to us.