Seven people are dead in a shooting this morning at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, including the suspected gunman, and three others are wounded, including a veteran police officer who killed the shooter, authorities say.
Tactical officers who swept the temple found four people dead inside the building and three people dead outside, Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt told a news conference.
One of those killed outside was shot after he fired on the first officer to arrive, he said. Wentlandt said the officer fired back, killing the gunman. He said the tactical officer, a 20-year veteran, was undergoing surgery at an area hospital.
“Multiple rounds were exchanged,” he said. “The officer was shot multiple times. He is in surgery. His condition is not known at this time. (The shooter) is down at the scene and presumed dead.”
Wentlandt said police are still checking the temple to see if there are other gunmen.
“At this time, we have not identified any additional gunmen,” he said. “It’s possible those multiple reports were of the same person. … We’re not sure there were additional shooters.”
Yet another mass shooting, this time in Wisconsin. This is becoming so common-place, it’s not even shocking anymore. Tragic.
Governor Scott Walker released the following statement:
“While the situation in Oak Creek continues to develop rapidly, we are working with the FBI and local law enforcement. I became aware of the situation late this morning and continue to receive updated briefings.
Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence.
At the same time, we are filled with gratitude for our first responders, who show bravery and selflessness as they put aside their own safety to protect our neighbors and friends.
Tonette and I ask everyone to join us in praying for the victims and their families, praying for the safety of our law enforcement and first responder professionals and praying for strength and healing for this entire community and our state.”
Update:-Mother Jones reports on the identity of the alleged shooter:
Authorities have identified the alleged gunman as Wade Michael Page. Sources say that Page had once served in the U.S. military, according to CBS News. Police officials have described the suspect as a stocky, 40-something Caucasian male with multiple tattoos. Unspecified evidence suggests ethnicity or race may have motivated the shooting; however, police have not identified any links to extremist groups.
An unnamed US defense official says that Page is a 40-year-old Army veteran who was honorably discharged in 1998 after six years of service, Bloomberg reports. Page served as a Hawk missile repairman and a “psychological operations specialist.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified Page as “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.” (The frontman of the band End Apathy, named Wade, gave this interview to the white supremacist website Label 56 in 2010.) SPLC also claim to have been tracking Page ever since he tried to buy goods from the neo-Nazi National Alliance in 2000. The National Alliance was led by Dr. William Luther Pierce, the author of the infamous 1978 novel The Turner Diaries. Pierce, who died in 2002, is considered one of the ideological godfathers of the modern American white nationalist movement. Pierce promoted white power music ventures, racist video games, weekly radio addresses, and online forums to advance his organization’s cause.