On Friday, hundreds of mourners gathered at the Oak Tree High School Gymnasium in Wisconsin to honor and pay respects to victims of Sikh Temple shooting that took place last Sunday, in which alleged killer Wade Michael Page opened fire in the place of worship killing six people and critically injuring three others.
"Dear God, you have given me this body and this soul. This body is doing whatever you want me to do. You take this soul, this is your soul," said one of the mourners, as reported by the Huffington Post.
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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who also attended the service, told the crowd, "Today we mourn with you, we pray with you, we support you," as reported on the Associated Press.
US Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Representative for Wisconsin Paul Ryan also attended the service. Sikhs from across the country and even Canada came down to Wisconsin to pay homage to the victims and their families.
35- year-old, Kuldeep Chahal a Sikh teacher was one of them who came all the way from Toronto, Canada. He told the crowd "The reason we came down is because we definitely what to show the community how much we support them," according to the Associated Press.
The service was provided with police protection.
One of the victims being honored was the hailed temple priest, Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, who has been hailed a "hero" by the media. Kaleka made sure to lead women and children to shelter, he then took a kitchen knife and attempted to stab the shooter multiple times in order to save the remaining civilians, but was shot to death. Witnesses said that he tried so save as many lives as possible in the massacre. According to Fox News, FBI agents told Kaleka's son, "your father is a hero."
Last Sunday, Page allegedly opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin, killing five men and one woman and critically injuring three others, including a police officer. The 40-year-old U.S. veteran came under the attention of the FBI a couple of times for his affiliation with radical white supremacist groups. Police say the alleged killer was a "white supremacist" according to ABC News.
In a news conference on Wednesday, FBI Special Agent Teresa Carlson told reporters that Page shot himself after opening fire in a Wisconsin Sikh temple on Sunday killing six people and injuring three others.
Carlson told reporters, "Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," according to Reuters. The 40-year-old veteran was shot in an encounter with the police, but his death was caused when Page shot himself in the head after being shot in the stomach by the police.
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.
While the FBI continues to treat the case as an act of domestic terrorism, the Sikh community urges that it be handled as a hate crime.