Shooting @ Sikh Temple: 7 Dead

by mind blown 26 Replies latest jw friends

  • mind blown
    mind blown

    At least seven people were killed, including the suspected gunman, in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., south of Milwaukee on Sunday.

    According to police, 911 dispatchers received multiple calls from the temple at approximately 10:25 a.m. local time. An officer who responded to the scene was treating a victim when he was "ambushed" by the suspected gunman in the parking lot, police said. The veteran officer was shot multiple times and is in surgery at Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital, according to Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards. His condition is not known.

    The suspect was shot and killed by a second officer, police said. The gunman was not identified, and no motive was released.

    Tactical units conducting a sweep of the 17,000-square-foot temple discovered four bodies inside and three—including the gunman—in the parking lot. There were initial, unconfirmed reports of multiple shooters and a hostage situation, though police said they believe there was just one gunman.

    A spokesman for Froedtert Hospital said a total of three victims were admitted in critical condition—two with gunshot wounds to the face and one with gunshot wounds to the abdomen. Other area hospitals were initially told to prepare for as many as 20 victims.

    Law enforcement officials are treating the case as a "domestic terrorist incident," police said, and the FBI is leading the investigation. The names of the victims in Sunday's shooting were not released.

    According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Satwant Kaleka, the president of the temple, was one of the victims taken to Froedtert Hospital, according to his nephew, Gurmit Kaleka.

    Dozens of worshipers, including women and children, were gathering for a meal before an 11:30 a.m. prayer service at the temple, or gurdwara, when the shooting occurred. There are about 500 members in the congregation, officials said.

    Witnesses described a chaotic scene as worshipers reportedly hid inside closets within the building after the gunman opened fire inside.

    President Barack Obama was notified of the shooting shortly before 1 p.m. (ET) by chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a senior administration official told Yahoo News.

    "Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin," Obama said. "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."

    Mitt Romney released a statement, too. "This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship," Romney said. "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."

    In a statement, Wis. Gov. Scott Walker said his office is working with the FBI and local law enforcement in its investigation.

    "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence," Walker said. "At the same time, we are filled with gratitude for our first responders, who show bravery and selflessness as they put aside their own safety to protect our neighbors and friends."

    The Indian Embassy in Washington called it a "tragic incident" and said it has been in touch with the National Security Council and local authorities to monitor the situation. According to ABC News, federal agents from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau were sent to the scene of the shooting.

    Sunday's shooting comes less than a month after the Aurora, Colo., theater massacre, when 12 people were killed and 58 wounded during a midnight screening of "Dark Knight Rises."

    Sikhism is a 500-year-old monotheist faith with about 27 million followers worldwide, including about 300,000 in the United States.

    Since 9/11, Sikh groups in the United States have reported a rise in bias attacks. There have been more than 700 reports of hate-related incidents against Sikhs since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, according to the Associated Press. "Sikhs don't practice the same religion as Muslims," the AP noted, "but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say."

    In the wake of the shooting in Wisconsin, law enforcement officials in other cities, including New York City, increased patrols near Sikh temples on Sunday. However, there is no known threat against Sikh temples in New York, the NYPD said.

  • Glander

    I have worked with Sikhs on temple remodeling. Couldn't ask for nicer people. Their religion has zero in common with Islam. They are more Hindu as I recall.

  • King Solomon
    King Solomon

    Yeah, we have a large Sikh community nearby, and of course they have NOTHING in common with Muslims, but that doesn't matter to a bigot: they simply see a foreigner wearing a turban, and their xenophobia kicks into high gear. Sad, as after 9/11 a wave of violence arose against Sikhs, carried out by those who didn't care that they weren't Muslim or not; in their mind, it was close enough to hate.

    It'll be interesting to see the flawed motives of the gunman here, whatver they might be, to see what gave him the idea that he was justified in carrying out this insane act....

  • CaptainSchmideo
  • Glander

    Everyone relax for a moment. They are now saying it was a domestic situation that spilled into the congregation. No apparent religious angle at all. Except that the Sikh community is very tight with many family ties.

  • ohiocowboy

    I was saddened to find out about this. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families. The Sikh community is comprised of very nice people from what I have seen, and as others have already said, they do NOT subscribe to the severely intolerant Islamic teachings.

    Lately, too many people today are taking their frustrations out on large groups of innocent people. I don't know what can be done to stop the violence, but I hope that society in general can put it's differences aside, so that we can come up with a plan to make things better for everyone so that there is a lesser chance of such things happening in the future.

    Peace be with those who lost their lives, as well as the family members and other loved ones they left behind.

  • designs

    The late author James Baldwin often spoke and wrote about the need for a National Soul Searching in light of our violence and discrimination.

    Go Tell It On The Mountain

    Notes of a Native Son

    Another Country

    The Fire Next Time

    May these families find peace and answers.

  • King Solomon
    King Solomon

    This according to ABC news:

    Though police have not given any details on the identity or motive of the shooter, or released the identities of the victims, sources have told ABC News the shootings are the work of a "white supremacist" or "skinhead."

    This evening, the FBI and a bomb squad arrived at a home in Cudahy, Wis., near Oak Creek, and ABC News Milwaukee affiliate WISN reported the action appeared to be related to the temple shootings earlier in the day.

    According to information broadcast over police radio, a witness to the shooting told law enforcement the shooter was a white male, bald, with a heavy build. He was wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, according to Oak Creek Patch.

    Biographical details and tattoos on the body of the slain gunman led officials to make the domestic terrorism designation, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

  • Berengaria

    Neo Nazi f*cker.

  • Diest

    Ok everyone, no need to relax, they are now saying it was an ex-army guy who has been in a skin head band since 2005.

    The Sikhs need some sort of advertising campagin like the Mormons. "I am not Muslim." They keep getting attacked even though they are not from the same area as most of Islam and dont hold the same beliefs.

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