Sikh Temple Shooting Update: Wade Michael Page Identified as Wisconsin Shooter, Thought Sikhs were Muslims
Aug 06, 2012 11:12 AM EDT
The gunman in the Sikh Temple shooting on Sunday, which claimed the lives of seven including the shooter, has been identified as Wade Michael Page. There is no official confirmation from the police or FBI on the identification, but according to Fox News, the 40-year-old Page is a former US Military veteran.
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On Sunday, Page opened fire in a Sikh Temple in Oak Tree, Wisconsin, where he fired at over two dozen people. According to reports by NBC News and ABC News, Page is being described as Page a "white supremacist" or "skinhead." Authorities confirmed to NBC News that he was "some kind of radical or white supremacist views, but was apparently not a member of any kind of radical organization."
Page has been identified as a member of a racist organization called Skinhead Band Apathy in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He joined the organization in 2010, but has showed racist proclivity from much earlier than that, in 2000, according to Director of the intelligence project at the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, Page purchased items from a neo-Nazi group called National Alliance.
Police confirm that Page served in the U.S. army prior to the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The presumption among FBI and Police is that Page, like many others, mistook Sikhs for being Muslims. Sikhism is an off-shoot of the Hindu religion, it is the fifth largest sect of faith in the world. Sikhs come mainly from Punjab, located in Northern India. A typical Sikh man can be seen wearing a turban and a long beard, while many Sikh women can be seen covering their heads with a scarf.
Never the less, an attack on innocent civilians is an attack regardless of the demography. FBI, who are leading the investigation are treating the case as a "domestic terrorism" incident.
According to CNN News, the suspect was found in possession of two semi-automatic handguns. The police department refused to give details of the weapons recovered on the spot. Now police reveal that an apartment located in the area of Cudahy near Milwaukee is suspected to be the residence of the alleged shooter. Police, along with a bomb squad are working to clear the residence for further evidence.
Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker said he was working with enforcement authorities and said "Our hearts go out to the victims and their families as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence," according to a statement released on Yahoo News.