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

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid