reported on the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, which left seven people dead, including the gunman, and at least 20 injured.
According to police officials, the gunman, carrying a 9 millimeter semi-automatic handgun and with a 9/11 tattoo on his left shoulder, entered the temple about 10:15 a.m. He then began firing at priests gathered in the lobby. He apparently then stalked through the temple as congregants ran for shelter and barricaded themselves in prayer halls and bathrooms.
The shooting suspect, Wade Michael Page, has been described as a U.S. Army veteran who served as a specialist from 1992 until 1998, and was once attached to the Fort Bragg Army installation in North Carolina.
was living in a rented apartment in Cudahy, approximately five miles from the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, a suburb of Milwaukee.
The Southern Poverty Law Center
, a non-profit group, has apparently been tracking Page since he attempted to purchase goods from neo-Nazis in 2000.
The center is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society.
for the center says that the suspect, Wade Michael Page was a member of two racist skinhead bands - End Apathy and Definite Hate. They state that he "was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band."
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center said, “This guy was in the thick of the white supremacist music scene and, in fact, played with some of the best known racist bands in the country."
“The music that comes from these bands is incredibly violent and it talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies. It is music that could not be sold over the counter around the country.”
He apparently gave an interview to the white supremacist website, Label 56
in 2010 regarding his band, End Apathy. Page had been in the white power music scene since 2000 and also played in hate rock bands.
Page said that his band’s “concept was based on trying to figure out what it would take to actually accomplish positive results in society and what is holding us back. A lot of what I realized at the time was that if we could figure out how to end people’s apathetic ways, it would be the start towards moving forward.”
Label 56 has now posted a statement on their website as follows:
"Label 56 is very sorry to hear about the tragedy in Wisconsin and our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who are affected. We have worked hard over the years to promote a positive image and have posted many articles encouraging people to take a positive path in life, to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and just general behavior that can affect ones life negatively. Likewise we have never sought attention by using “shock value”/ symbols and ideology that are generally labeled as such. With that being said, all images and products related to End Apathy have been removed from our site. We do not wish to profit from this tragedy financially or with publicity.
In closing please do not take what Wade did as honorable or respectable and please do not think we are all like that. Thank you, Label 56."
John Edwards of Oak Creek, speaking at a news conference, identified the victims, five men and one woman, ranging in age from 39 to 84. Three other people who were wounded in the shooting are in a local hospital, in critical condition.
The victims have been identified as Sita Singh, 41, Ranjit Singh, 49, Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, Prakash Singh, 39, Paramjit Kaur, 41 and Suveg Singh, 84.
While police have not yet confirmed the motive of the shooter, who was shot dead at the scene by a police officer, his affiliation with white supremacist groups may have been a contributing factor. The case is being treated as an act of “domestic terrorism.”