Authorities have identified the shooter in the murderous Sunday attack on a Sikh temple in Milwaukee as a discharged Army veteran who might have been a white supremacist. The shocking rampage left six people dead and three others wounded on Sunday after the shooter, identified as Wade Michael Page, raided a Sikh temple in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI.
Perhaps ignorantly motivated by the terrorist attacks of September 11th—which were carried out by radical Muslim terrorists, who have no connection to the Sikh religion based in India—the shooter opened fire Sunday morning around 10:30 a.m. Page, 40, was shot to death by police who responded to the attack.
Page’s arm tattoo, commemorating the victims of the 9/11 attacks, points to twisted possible motivations in a confused mind. But Page wouldn’t be the first to strike out against the Sikhs in ignorance—Sunday’s incident was just the latest of more than 700 incidents against members of the Sikh community since September 11, 2001 attacks.
While no motive for the attack has been established, the FBI is treating this case as one of domestic terrorism.
“He did not speak, he just began shooting,” said Harpreet Singh to CBS.
While outside of the temple tending to a victim, Lt. Brian Murphy was shot 10 times, none of the shots being fatal. President of the temple, Satwant Kaleka, wasn’t as fortunate, as he was one of the six who fatally fell victim to Page.
According to his relatives, Kaleka was killed fighting the assailant.
“From what we understand, he basically fought to the very end and suffered gunshot wounds while trying to take down the gunman,” said Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, his nephew.
“He was a protector of his own people, just an incredible individual who showed his love and passion for our people, our faith, to the end,” he said, as tears began to well. “He was definitely one of the most dedicated individuals I have ever seen, one of the happiest people in the world.”
The issue of gun control remains at the forefront of the minds of many Americans as this incident follows the recent tragedy in Aurora, CO, where 13 people were killed at a screening of the Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.
It was confirmed by Bernard Zapor, special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, that the 9 mm gun used Sunday along with multiple magazines of ammunition were purchased legally by Page.
Page enlisted in the army in April 1992 and was stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas, working in psychological operations in 1994, according to army spokesman George Wright. He was last stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. before being discharged in October of 1998 due to patterns of misconduct.
It remains unconfirmed whether or not Page, who was a member of a far right white supremacist punk band called End Apathy, was involved with any white supremacist movement.