Posts Tagged ‘Oak Creek’
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 17 (IANS) Less than two weeks after a gunman killed six worshippers at a gurdwara here, a member of the same gurdwara was shot and killed at a neighbourhood market in an apparent robbery attempt.
Milwaukee police said Thursday they are searching for suspects who killed Dalbir Singh, 56, at about 9.10 p.m. Wednesday in what appeared to be an attempted robbery.
The shooting occurred shortly after the Harmony Foods store at W. Locust Street closed, local Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday citing Jatinder Singh, the dead man’s nephew who owns the store.
Jatinder Singh said he and his uncle had exited the store through a side door when a couple of men approached them and one put a gun to Jatinder Singh’s head.
He and his uncle made it back into the store and pushed the side door shut. But one of the men fired a shot through the door, killing Dalbir Singh, Jatinder Singh said.
Dalbir Singh did not work at the store, but often was with Jatinder Singh there.
The Journal Sentinel quoted Jatinder Singh as saying he was at the Oak Creek gurdwara Aug 5 but had left by 9 a.m. before the shooting rampage began at about 10.25 a.m.
Jatinder Singh said that his uncle also was not at the gurdwara during the shooting, but that Dalbir Singh went to where people were gathering near the gurdwara after he learned of the shooting.
The killing of an elderly Sikh so soon after the Aug 5 shooting has sent shock waves through the community.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 16 (IANS) Sounds of gunshots can be heard in some calls made to the police from worshippers hiding in a Sikh gurdwara here when Wade Michael Page, a white supremacist, came that fateful Sunday and killed six of them.
One caller whispers to a dispatcher, asking for help to be sent as quickly as possible, according to a recording of the 911 calls made Aug 5 to the Milwaukee County sheriff’s office reporting that a gunman was shooting people at the gurdwara.
Others are matter-of-fact calls informing authorities that a shooting has occurred, the recording released by the sheriff’s office shows, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“Hey, uh, we’re down 7420 Howell. Some guy’s shooting a gun. Uh, some temple or something…We’ve seen him go in there, so…,” a male caller tells a sheriff’s dispatcher.
Another man tells a dispatcher he is calling from the temple and popping sounds can be heard. “There is shooting…There is shooting in this…,” he says.
“OK. Did anybody get hit?” the dispatcher asks.
“He’s shooting,” the man says, and the call cuts off.
On another call, a woman tells a dispatcher that somebody is firing and there might be blood. “It’s a Sikh temple, you know,” the woman tells the dispatcher, who tells the caller that officers are on the way.
In another call, a woman who likely is in the temple hiding from the shooter speaks in a voice that is barely audible. The dispatcher tells the woman she is having trouble hearing her.
In a faint whisper, the woman gives an address and says, “Sikh Temple”.
Oak Creek police and fire departments have not yet released their recordings of 911 calls from that day, the Journal Sentinel said.
The 911 calls began at 10.25 a.m. that Sunday. A number of calls came from inside the temple from worshippers, who also called family members. Some of the worshippers were hiding in a bathroom; others hid in a pantry.
One of the calls came from Jim Haase, a retired firefighter. Reporting the shooting, he says, “I need an ambulance… A guy came to my house. He’s laying in my front yard bleeding.” He tended to the man until the ambulance arrived.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 11 (IANS) As thousands of mourners paid their last respects to six Sikh worshippers gunned down at a Sikh gurdwara here, US Attorney General Eric Holder called it “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime.”
Holder spoke at an emotional memorial service at Oak Creek High School for the victims of the attack at the gurdwara in a Milwaukee suburb that brought an unending stream of tearful mourners from all walks of life and from as far away as India.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has chosen to probe Sunday’s attack by white supremacist Wade Michael page as an act of “domestic terrorism”, but Holder was forthright in acknowledging it for the first time as a hate crime.
Since the Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, Sikhs in America have been targeted at least 700 times apparently mistaken for Muslims because of their beards and traditional turbans, according to New York-based advocacy group Sikh Coalition.
“In the recent past, too many Sikhs have been targeted and victimised simply because of who they are, how they look, and what they believe,” Holder was quoted as saying by CNN. “That is wrong. It is unacceptable. And it will not be tolerated.”
He called for a national discussion on changing laws to prevent future shooting attacks, as well as “how we might change the hearts of those so filled with hate that the despicable act we mourn today could ever have occurred.” Holder mentioned no specific laws.
Holder also declared the attack to be “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime “that is anathema to the founding principles of our nation and to who we are as an American people.”
Earlier, Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker said the Sikh community lived the words of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. this week by responding with love to the attack.
Wearing an orange head covering in keeping with Sikh tradition, Walker quoted King’s assertion that only love can overcome hate, and said he witnessed that truth in the aftermath of Sunday’s attack at the gurdwara.
“This week, our friends and neighbours in the Sikh community have shown us the best way to respond is with love,” he said.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 10 (IANS) Hundreds of mourners, Sikhs and others, policemen and religious leaders, men and women gathered here Friday to pay their last respects to six worshippers gunned down at a Sikh gurdwara Sunday.
With tears in their eyes and pain in their hearts, they filed by six open caskets Friday morning at Oak Creek High School gymnasium, which opened its doors before 9 a.m. for the lengthening line of mourners.
Taking their shoes off, placing scarves on their heads, the mourners made their way past the simple wooden caskets with photographs of the fallen placed on easels at the head of each casket, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“Oh, dear God, please forgive me in this life,” a Sikh priest told the mourners. “We pray for the departed souls,” he said. “Give us the strength to bear this loss.”
US Attorney General Eric Holder, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and representatives of the Sikh community and families are expected to speak to the mourners.
Then a series of priests will read the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib from cover to cover for 48 hours in a rite honouring the dead called “Akhand Path.”
Prabhjot Singh, co-founder and trustee of the Sikh Coalition, said that Friday’s visitation represents a time of healing and paying respects for those killed in Sunday’s attack on the Sikh gurdwara.
“The religious ceremonies will be done privately over the next weeks,” Prabhjot Singh said as mourners walked by the open caskets of the six killed – gurdwara president Satwant Singh Kaleka and Paramjit Kaur, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh and Suveg Singh.
Men and women sat cross-legged on the floor before the caskets with women in salwar-kameez, their heads covered in dupattas of various colours, bright orange, turquoise, and most of all, white sitting separately.
The temple’s head priest, Gurmel Singh, who was there the day of the shooting, presided over the visitation with mourners coming in and passing by a small dais where tree men were chanting religious hymns and playing instruments.
Images of the dead and wounded rotated on a large screen, including the photo of Oak Creek police Lt. Brian Murphy. First on the scene, Murphy was shot at least eight times by the lone gunman in the attack and remains hospitalised. His condition has been upgraded to satisfactory.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 10 (IANS) As the Sikh gurdwara where six worshippers were killed reopened after being swept, scrubbed and painted, a lone bullet hole was left unrepaired as a grim reminder of Sunday’s rampage.
The bullet hole in a metal frame of the door leading to the main prayer area, where the only female victim, 41-year-old Paramjit Kaur, was killed, won’t be repaired, members said as investigators allowed them back inside Thursday.
But elsewhere, the congregation was busy polishing the tile floors, touching up patched drywall and replacing carpet, using donated supplies; and reopening the dining hall, where the Sikhs run an open kitchen for the community, according to CNN and local reports.
Several members wept as they walked in, while others embraced emotionally.
“It takes a toll on you, thinking about the lives that were lost, when you realise our temple will never be the same again,” said Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, a nephew of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the gurdwara president who died fighting the gunman to protect his congregation.
Kaleka told CNN it was hard coming back to the gurdwara, but members returned as soon as police allowed them, “so we can start off here tomorrow for those six people and really for the future of the world community.”
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who visited the gurdwara Thursday, warned more massacres will come unless the United States tightens up its gun laws.
“It’s easy to be polite to say ‘We’re so sorry this happened’ and give the same speech at the next killing a month from now,” Jackson said. “There’s some point where move from politeness to a change in policy.”
A CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday indicates that the public remains divided on gun laws. Those who support major restrictions or a complete ban have remained in the 48 percent-to-50 percent range for more than a decade.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 10 (IANS) Conditions of two of the three men injured in Sunday’s rampage at the Oak Creek Sikh gurdwara here have shown improvement, according to hospital officials.
Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot eight to nine times by gunman Wade Michael Page as he arrived at the scene in response to a 911 call, is recovering well and has been upgraded to satisfactory condition from critical, Froedtert Hospital said.
Six Sikh worshippers were killed and three injured before another police officer shot Page. The gunman then shot himself in the head and was killed by the self-inflicted wound, according to FBI.
Santokh Singh, 50, has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. He suffered a gunshot wound that penetrated his chest, diaphragm, stomach and liver. All of his injuries were repaired in two surgeries and he is recovering well.
Punjab Singh, 65, remains in critical condition. He suffered a single gunshot wound to the face that caused facial fractures and damage to his right carotid and vertebral artery. There is evidence he also may have subsequently suffered a stroke and he requires mechanical support to breathe, the hospital said.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 9 (IANS) In a clear message of solidarity, Americans of all backgrounds and faith held candlelight vigils from coast to coast to mourn the victims of the gurdwara rampage here.
The Sikh Coalition estimated that more than 30 vigils were held across the US Wednesday evening as community groups pushed for action to ensure that no group suffers a similar fate.
More such vigils were planned in the coming days, the coalition said, expressing hope that these “will hasten our collective journey to stamp out hate and intolerance in our nation”.
One gathering was held near the White House. Many of the estimated 200 people wore ribbons coloured orange and blue to symbolize the identity of the Sikh community.
Many wrote notes on a sign that had the names of the victims and also read “United Against Hate”. These will be sent to the Wisconsin gurdwara.
New Yorkers gathered in the Union Square. Vigils were also held in Bay Area, Las Vegas, Beth-El, Poway, California, St. Peters, San Jose, Spokane Valley, Washington and Vancouver in Canada.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 8 (IANS) Wade Michael Page, the gunman who killed six worshippers at the Sikh gurdwara here Sunday, shot and killed himself after he was wounded by an Oak Creek police officer, FBI said Wednesday.
Evidence, including videotape, related to the officer shooting Page showed the gunman took his own life after the rifle shot took him down, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in charge Teresa Carlson told reporters at the FBI office in Milwaukee.
Authorities previously had said that Oak Creek officer Sam Lenda shot and killed Page with a rifle after the gunman refused commands to put down his weapon and fired at officers.
“The evidence indicates that the second responding officer who shot Page in the stomach, thereby neutralising the threat – and by the way, I’ve seen the video, it is an amazing shot,” Carlson was quoted as saying by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“And thank goodness. Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” Carlson said.
Carlson said Page acted alone, but they continue to investigate in part because of his ties to white-supremacist groups.
The investigation has included more than 100 interviews that have occurred with Page’s family members, associates, neighbours and employers nationwide, Carlson said.
She said authorities are pursuing 101 leads worldwide and have issued 180 grand jury subpoenas.
Authorities also are reviewing Page’s email and telephone records, state Department of Transportation video and neighbourhood security video.
Carlson said the temple’s video surveillance system was not turned on Sunday so there is no view of the shooting from inside the temple.
Searches of Page’s residence, vehicle, a rented storage locker and space he had at a former employer have been conducted, she said.
“I want to reiterate again that after all of this work we still have identified no one else responsible for this shooting other than him,” Carlson said. “We also have not clearly defined his motive at this point.”
Page’s ex-girlfriend, Misty Cook, 31, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm by South Milwaukee police, the Journal Sentinel said.
A gun was found in her residence in the 1400 block of Marquette Ave. when investigators searched the residence she and Page had rented together in February.
Cook continued living in the residence after she and Page broke up in June. He moved to a duplex in Cudahy, which also was searched.
Authorities said Tuesday that Cook, who also has ties to white-supremacist groups, had no role in the rampage.
Lt. Brian Murphy, who was among three people wounded in the attack, is up and walking, Police Chief John Edwards said. Two other shooting victims, Punjab Singh and Santokh Singh, remain hospitalised at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa. A third worshipper who was shot and injured Sunday was treated and released.
–Indo-Asian News Service
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 8 (IANS) “Struck by calm & composure of victim families. No trace of rancour. But their tears would fill an ocean, make it overflow.”
So tweeted India’s Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao, after an emotional meeting Tuesday with the families of six worshippers shot dead in Sunday’s rampage by a gunman at a gurdwara in this Milwaukee suburb.
Flying down from Washington amid an all-round outpouring of support with peace rallies and candlelight vigils in dozens of cities, Rao offered her sympathies and promised all assistance on behalf of the Indian government.
Rao also met the family of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the slain president of the gurdwara, who confronted the shooter, Wade Michael Page, and helped save the lives of several worshippers in his congregation.
Later in the evening, Rao attended a community vigil in honour of the shooting victims and made a “beautiful” speech. “Thankyou for coming Ms. Rao. Yr words wr so peaceful,” tweeted an attendee.
Rao also met Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi, besides officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the local police who provided her a first hand assessment of the ongoing investigation of the shooting incident.
The envoy was briefed on how the incident happened and the steps that are now being taken by the police and local administration for the protection of the Sikh community as well as the status of the investigation.
In another tweet, Rao thanked Joseph Crowley, a Democratic leader on Sikh-American issues in the US Congress, and 92 other members of Congress for urging the FBI to collect separate data on hate crimes against Sikh Americans.
Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 8 (IANS) Two days after a gunman shot dead six worshippers at a Wisconsin gurdwara, police were still clueless about what prompted the former soldier’s rampage at the house of worship.
Police had not identified a motive or found any telltale writings or note left by the Wade Michael Page, 40, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said Tuesday. His family members have also not reported observing any warning signs.
Page, an army veteran who neighbours say played in a far-right punk band, was the lone gunman in the Sunday rampage at a Sikh temple, Edwards was quoted as saying by CNN.
According to Edwards and the FBI, authorities have received tips that Page might have links to the white supremacist movement, but nothing had been confirmed.
‘We may end up with just a lot of facts on what he is involved with, who he may be associated with, but we may never know that motive, because he died, and that motive died with him,’ Edwards said.
Counter to speculation, Page did not have a 9/11 tattoo, he said.
While the FBI has said Page never was the subject of an investigation, he was mentioned in a small number of federal law enforcement reference files in cases going back seven years, the channel said citing a law enforcement official.
But the official did not provide details about the nature of the cases in which Page’s name was mentioned.
Two neighbours of Page identified him in photos that showed him playing in the far-right punk band ‘End Apathy’ with Nazi flags hanging near him.
A University of Nebraska at Omaha professor told CNN that he knew Page while doing research on extremist groups about 10 years ago.
Page told him he identified with neo-Nazis during his time in the military, Pete Simi said. The former soldier told him he believed the deck was stacked against whites, Simi said, adding he believed Page drank excessively.
According to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Page had no apparent ties to the Milwaukee area except for his former girl friend, 31-year-old Misty Cook, who may have shared his white power beliefs.
Cook who worked at a restaurant about a block away from the gurdwara may be the reason Page moved to the area about nine months ago, it said citing the Anti-Defamation League, which has been tracking both of them for years.
Page and Cook broke up in June and she had no role in the rampage, authorities said.
–Indo-Asian News Service