News / USA

Wisconsin Community Mourns Victims of Sikh Temple Shooting

Wisconsin Community Mourns Victims of Sikh Temple Shootingi
|| 0:00:00
X
Kane Farabaugh
August 06, 2012 4:46 PM
Law enforcement officials in the northern U.S. state of Wisconsin continue their investigation into a mass shooting during Sunday services at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. Six people died in the attack and three more were seriously injured, including the police officer who killed the gunman. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the incident - described by police as an act of domestic terrorism - is a shock to those in the area’s relatively small Sikh community.
Kane Farabaugh
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin — U.S. authorities have identified the gunman who opened fire during Sunday services at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been identified as a former American soldier, Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old man who served in the U.S. Army for about six years in the 1990s before being dismissed with less than an honorable discharge.

Six people died in the attack and three more were seriously injured. The incident - described by police as an act of domestic terrorism - is a shock to those in the area’s relatively small Sikh community.

As local and federal law enforcement officials combed through evidence at the temple, Milwaukee’s international community gathered in a downtown park to mourn the six people who died in the rampage and three more who remain in critical condition at area hospitals.

For temple member Manpreet Kaur, the candlelight vigil came at a time of continued uncertainty.

“The kids, they were having a class around 10 a.m. at that time. We don’t even know where all those kid[s] are," she said. "Somebody told me that there was a class and we are not sure where and what was happening.”

Kaur heard about the vigil, which was hastily organized on the social media outlet Facebook and came with her husband and daughter to seek comfort.

“I appreciate what they are doing here. It tells me that everyone is not bad," she said. "There is a community and they’re people who support and the first thing that comes into mind is the humanity, and no religion.”

“I don’t know any motive for why this took place, but if it has something to do with the way somebody looks, that’s not the America I was taught that we live in,” said ironworker Randy Bryce who joined the vigil by holding up part of a sign that spelled out “Wisconsin Weeps.” He says the incident was just as shocking to him as it was to those in the Sikh community.

The Sikh Religion

  • Monotheistic, founded in the 15th century in South Asia
  • Fifth-largest organized religion in the world, with as many as 30 million followers
  • There are more than 500,000 Sikhs in the United States
  • Observant Sikhs do not cut their hair
  • The current prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, is a Sikh
  • Sikhs wear turbans and grow beards, and are often mistaken for Muslims in the West
  • Sikhs have been a target of anti-Muslim violence in the United States since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
“I can’t think of possibly why somebody would walk into the that temple," Bryce said. "They were celebrating a birth today. And, it’s a place where food is served free to anyone who goes in there. Anyone is welcome. A very peace-loving people. It makes no sense.”

India-born software engineer Deepak Narayan was also trying to make sense of what happened, so soon after a shooting at a theater in Colorado that left 12 people dead, and 70 others injured.

“Milwaukee is a peaceful city, but this can happen anywhere," Narayan said.  "Aurora, Colorado, was a small city, I guess, and it can happen anywhere. And, it just reminds that life is fragile and we just have to live each day to the fullest.”

As law enforcement agents continued to search for clues that could provide insight into how the tragedy unfolded, many Sikhs in southeast Wisconsin were just beginning to deal with the shock of an incident that now puts their relatively small and close-knit community in the media spotlight.

It was earlier reported that the wounded policeman killed the gunman. The police clarified later that the gunman was shot and killed by a second policeman.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: vanessa from: ohio
August 07, 2012 3:50 AM
i am retired from trumbull correctional inst i was almost held hostage by a white supremacist group when i got the phone call a half and hour after getting home that my cell block set down i knew it was them the inst tried to shield my from it but i knew several of them went to the hole and their security level was raise but what does that do when you are doing time forever and a day i have never seen hate like that before i am black i hope i will never again v

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid