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BREAKING: Sikh Temple Shooting, Seven Dead, Gunman Killed

5 August 2012 General 22 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

BREAKING: Sikh Temple Shooting, Seven Dead, Gunman Killed

7 Sikhs have been killed inside a Sikh Temple. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families!

At the moment we do not know who the shooter was, or his motivation, but in light of the rise in bias attacks and incidents against Sikhs, who are often mistaken for Muslims, this story may be related to violent anti-Muslim Islamophobia and general xenophobia.

Police: 7 dead in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting

OAK CREEK, Wis.—A gunman opened fire Sunday and killed six people at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee before he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with one of the first officers to respond to the chaotic scene, authorities said.

The shootings happened before 10:30 a.m., when witnesses said several dozen people were gathering at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin for a service. Hours of uncertainty followed as police in tactical gear and carrying assault rifles surrounded the temple with armored vehicles and ambulances.

A crowd gathered outside as officers descended on the temple and some spoke of talking or exchanging text messages with people inside. Some said they had heard there were multiple shooters, others spoke of women and children held hostage.

The first official word from police was that they didn’t know how many victims or suspects were involved. But a short time later, after an extensive search of the temple, authorities said they did not believe there was more than one shooter.

Jatin Der Mangat, 38, of Racine, said his uncle Satwant Singh Kaleka, the temple’s president, was one of those shot. Mangat didn’t know how serious Kaleka’s injuries were.

“This is nerve-racking. No one really knows what’s going on. Nothing like this has ever happened before,” Mangat said. Later, when he learned of the deaths, he said, “It was like the heart just sat down. This shouldn’t happen anywhere.”

Oak Creek Police John Edwards said officers called to the scene were tending a victim when the suspect ambushed one officer and shot him multiple times. The suspect then shot at another officer, who fired back and killed him.

Earlier, police had said the officer who was shot killed the suspected shooter.

Tactical units went through the building and found four people dead inside the temple and two outside, in addition to the shooter.

Two others were wounded along with the police officer, Edwards said.

All three were being treated at an area trauma center. Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt, who was helping in the investigation, said the police officer had surgery and is expected to survive.

Wentlandt did not identify the suspect or say what might have motivated the shootings. Family members identified some victims.

Sukhwindar Nagr, of Racine, said he called his brother-in-law’s phone and a priest at the temple answered and told him that his brother-in-law had been shot, along with three priests. The priest also said women and children were hiding in temple closets, Nagr said.

Devendar Nagra, 48, of Mount Pleasant, said his sister was in the temple preparing a meal when the shooting started. He said he spoke with her and she escaped injury by hiding in the kitchen, but a priest told him that his brother-in-law, the temple’s caretaker, had been shot in the leg.

Nagra’s spoke to his sister as she was evacuated from the temple to a nearby bowling alley. LeRon Bridges, 16, of Oak Creek, works at the bowling alley and said he was in a supply closet when he heard four gunshots. He looked outside, saw police coming and went to get his boss.

“There were more and more police showing up,” he said. “They all pulled out their assault rifles and ran toward the building.”

Bridges said police brought people evacuated from the temple to the bowling alley in two armored trucks. At one point, about 50 to 60 people were at the bowling alley, including police officers questioning those from the temple and paramedics treating their wounds, he said.

“They were just hysterical,” Bridges said. “There were kids. One big load came out of the truck.”

Sikhism is a monotheistic faith founded more than 500 years ago in South Asia. It has roughly 27 million followers worldwide. Observant Sikhs do not cut their hair; male followers often cover their heads with turbans — which are considered sacred — and refrain from shaving their beards. There are roughly 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S., according to estimates. The majority worldwide live in India.

The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin started in 1997 with about 25 families who gathered in community halls in Milwaukee. Construction on the current temple in Oak Creek began in 2006, according to the temple’s website.

Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the U.S. since 9/11, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment. Sikhs don’t practice the same religion as Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.

The New York Police Department issued a statement saying it was increasing security around Sikh temples in the city as a precaution in the wake of the Wisconsin shooting, which happened two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people at movie theater in Colorado.

——

Associated Press writers Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee, Pat Condon in Minneapolis and Sophia Tareen and Michelle Janaye Nealy in Chicago contributed to this report.

**********************

UPDATE I: 

Kanwarpdeep Singh Kaleka, who was working as an interpreter for the police and is a member of the temple, said that the shooter had a 9/11 tattoo on one of his arms.

Kaleka also told CNN that the shooter seemed to be targeting men wearing turbans.

“Everyone of all faiths are allowed in the temple,” Kaleka said. “It’s unfortunate that someone took advantage of this.”

UPDATE II:

CNN is reporting that not only have police identified the dead gunman, but they are combing through his house. They will not release his identity right now, they are looking through computers to figure out why he did what he did.

Gunman may have been in the Temple before considering his familiarity with it and his movements inside the Temple.

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22 Comments »

  1. “”They will not release his identity right now, they are looking through computers to figure out why he did what he did.”””

    They need to figure out how hate works ??? Jeeezzzzz!!! don’t they watch FOX News? Perhaps NYPD style spying/monitoring program might have prevented this incident of domestic terrorism.

  2. My sympathy and love go out to the Sikh community in this sad time. Jah bless you .

  3. I can’t believe someone would fire at a worship congregation. It is a very sad day for America – a nation that embraced every race/ creed and provided a platform for dreams to come true. Unless the fault lines are fixed, we may not see the end of hate crimes. And that’s frightening.

    One of the flaws built into the system was how cut off America was from the rest of the world. Back in the days, OJ Simpson occupied more media real estate than world affairs. While things changed after 9/11, we still need to go a long way. Tiger Woods’ affairs take more prominance than foreign affairs, flashy hollywood-ish lifestyles are beamed into a teenager’s head and hearts preparing a generation that may never be ready for the responsibility of being an American. For those who are not in the know, Sikhs are an asset to any nation they choose to live in. I’m not a Sikh, but I’d gladly trust one any day. Their IDEALS are what make them – trusted, hard working, passionate, fair and committed people. If you don’t have a Sikh in your community, you are poorer in many ways.

    There are 2 problems and they need to be dealt with separately. If we mix up, we’d never be able to achieve peace.

    Problem 1: Nutters against Humanity (eg: The WI shooter).

    Problem 2: Sharia lovers against Progressive Humanity.
    The more we keep quiet while radical Islam mutilates world socities, the more we push fence sitters into “nutters” category. Once they transcend, we’ll witness more tragedies like this shooting.

    Take a firm stand TODAY against anyone who supports archaic Islamic laws taking root in wonderful America. If not, you’d unknowingly contribute to rise of nutters who’ll attack the good guys out of ignorance.

    Fix the problems upstream…fix the faultlines. When you fix problems only when they are down stream, you spend too many efforts and results may not be guaranteed.

    Let America NOT BECOME Londonistan.

  4. I thought hate group members were being tracked. It still comes down to neglect of mental illness and/or isolation. Somebody tried to draw attention to him, as they have done to others, with no effect as usual.

    Deranged/disgruntled vets, students and employees plus availability of guns. Depressed upset US types have a tendency to commit homicide rather than suicide. Or they do suicide by cop.

  5. “I thought hate group members were being tracked”

    That would be profiling and thus illegal

  6. Suckshito,

    Listen Indo-Mongoloid bastard, this is a sad event. But you could not resist blaming Islam. What fuck do you come of, huh? Were you fucked by bin Laden or his cronies? Or did you eat the crap of Rawfart motherfucker Stencher, the used sanitary napkin of Pam G? If something has to be banned, then it is motherfucker followers of BDSM Brahminical Hinduism like you.

  7. Dongo

    Your illogical mad rants only prove the long held universal observation that Muslims/Islam are intolerant of criticism, and hence by extension, incapable of progress.

    This site is connected with Islam so I have every right to bring up Islam. Had it not been for the prevalent global Islamic fanaticism this WI incident may not even have occured. Hence there’s a secondary correlation for sure. So, as much as you cringe, Islam’s ubiquitous presence is strongly felt everywhere.

    Besides, if you are not a sharia supporter, why would you even be concerned ? Until Islam reforms, this scrutiny will be ceaseless. Your “oinks” only prove that you are a drag on humanity.

  8. Hey bastard suckshito,

    Who is a drag and who is a not it is clear from your writing. Yes, you have all rights but what fuck orders you to blame Islam and Muslims for everything that you always do? So, you are a stigma on humanity, an obnoxious curse on earth. And you called me “oinking”, that means I am a pig. Well, I don’t mind you calling me. But what does that have to do here? Russian church clergymen also look like Muslims. They have beard, long garbs. Why are not they attacked?

    Islam’s ubiquitous presence? Well, so far I know, BDSM Hinduism says that Hinduism is the world religion. And Aryan Hindus are the founder of modern civilisation; the RSS says that Arabian lands were the original cradle of Hinduism and barbarian Muslims drove Hindu Gods from there long time ago. Fucking asshole, don’t you realise that how can God be driven away by humans? Moreover, why did the Indian government conducted anti-Sikh operations? Out of carnal love for Sikhs? Or why did the blew up the Air India Flight 182? Why did they kill Indira Bitch Gandhi? Why did they kill Beant Singh, the Punjbi CM? Was Islam or were Muslims liable for these? Or were these people killed all Muslims?

  9. Actually, I’m Aikido on this one. While Islam itself is not really to blame for this event, reform within the Islamic community would help to lessen the amount of indiscriminate haters such as this shooter. I see Islam for what it truly is: a religion promoting peace, cooperation, and equality. However, Many Muslims latch onto less ideal interpretations, and a minority contort it into an ideology of hate and violence. The same is true of most large groups of people, but the Middle East has suffered an undue amount of international tampering to strengthen the worst faces of the faith. Hopefully the combined influences of modernization, access to information and education, the Arab Spring, and reform movements within and outside the Middle East will help to purify the religion of its worst interpretations and followers.

  10. It is sad to see someone like Aikido Arjun promote negative stereotype of Muslims, “An unexamined life is not worth living” we can not allow politics of hate win over our inherent goodness. Which Religious group can’t do with a little bit of more reformed view towards tolerance and peaceful co-existence, It would be a mistake to confuse hate driven violence against Sikhs,Muslims or burning down of Mosque in Joplin Missouri and Oslo violence or IRA or Basque terrorism to Christianity or Christian interpretation or Islam.

  11. To those who care, I clearly differentiate between sharia muslims and non-sharia muslims. Assuming that latter have rejected or diluted sharia, I’d say they show maturity in interpretation of medieval Arabism. If they are strong adherents of non-sharia way, then they are like any of us here – we are aligned with mainstream while cherishing our differences. In that sense, we stand with Americans as one.

    But the sharia lovers are a danger by any yard stick. You have to be very cautious with them because they are typically either “nuisance” or “catastrophe” or in between, depending on which part of the world we are referring to and which issue we are talking about. I’d suggest that governments of the West should not hesitate to deport such radical elements.

    Muslims in general (and sorry for the generalization here) are hyper touchy about their religion. That’s not how the modern world works. Everything and everyone is a fair game for critcism(respectful or otherwise). Their abject emotional attachment to religion blanks even an iota of fairness in their assessment of the world. For them (and for all blinded book thumpers), the world is Us Vs Them. Unfortunately, those distinctions along religious lines in matters of public policy and relations are out of place in today’s modern world (which is why Islamic societies are not the beacon of progress).

    I’m very clear as to where I stand: Islam should be fair in terms of what it asks of non-muslims and what it gives to non-muslims. Until this fairness is attained, the sharia lovers will be exposed ruthlessly. If this means unmasking some vile apology for human beings like “Dongo”, so be it.

    Truth is the only religion I care for. Rest will come and go.

  12. Suckshito,

    So far as your earlier writings suggest, your latest post most probably is a fake one.

    What is Shariah? It is just a set of laws. Is a set of laws so fearsome that you begin to distinguish between pro and con-Shariah Muslims? You show some maturity. When something is opposed to you, that is not a sign of immaturity.

    Most people are touchy about their own faiths. You go to an observing Jew/Hindu, tell them to give up any of the minutest portion of their religious laws, they will flay you alive.

    The Us v Them is not unique to Muslims. It exists everywhere.

    I am neither a supporter nor an opponent of Shariah or any religious law. If Shariah is applied, first of all, I would lose my right to drink wines and smoke cannabis. But there are other sides. I can’t fight for many clients and issues which are of strictly religious format. And I helplessly witness that the criminals in such cases get freed of their charges and the sufferer is the innocent.

  13. The Us v Them is definitely everywhere and the question is how can we make it less deadly? One way is to make no particular religion in charge.

  14. Aziz,

    ““An unexamined life is not worth living””. you sure you should be quoting socrates? he was a pagan? wasn’t he? so are you a muslim? what do you think of:

    Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57:

    Narrated ‘Ikrima:

    Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’”

  15. siyajk’ak,

    “will help to purify the religion of its worst interpretations and followers.” so what do you think of muhammad’s interpretations? is he not a pure follower?

    Volume 8, Book 82, Number 809:

    Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:

    A Jew and a Jewess were brought to Allah’s Apostle on a charge of committing an illegal sexual intercourse. The Prophet asked them. “What is the legal punishment (for this sin) in your Book (Torah)?” They replied, “Our priests have innovated the punishment of blackening the faces with charcoal and Tajbiya.” ‘Abdullah bin Salam said, “O Allah’s Apostle, tell them to bring the Torah.” The Torah was brought, and then one of the Jews put his hand over the Divine Verse of the Rajam (stoning to death) and started reading what preceded and what followed it. On that, Ibn Salam said to the Jew, “Lift up your hand.” Behold! The Divine Verse of the Rajam was under his hand. So Allah’s Apostle ordered that the two (sinners) be stoned to death, and so they were stoned. Ibn ‘Umar added: So both of them were stoned at the Balat and I saw the Jew sheltering the Jewess.

  16. The reason Muslims don’t like criticism is because the opponents don’t want a serious discussion. They simply want to insult. That is what leads people to commit violence against other relgions.

    Mike,
    As usual, you quote a hadith out of context. I don’t think the punishment was harsh since they were punished according to the Jewish Halaqa Law. You also deceive everyone who reads your posts by not pointing out that all the people stoned during the Prophet’s life were punished after self confession.

    Gonna take my comment out of context?
    Figured you would since you are a regular liar and you’ve done it b4.
    I did not say I approve of stoning, I said I don’t believe Muslims should judge people according to their own religion unless they want to be judged. In this case for example if you feign ignorance.

  17. Mike,

    Socrates also said “in learning there is knowledge and in knowledge there is wisdom”

    I suppose I should not be talking about Pagans and Yes I am a Shia Ismaili Muslim and I am not an expert on the validity of Sunni or Shia Hadith literature but have been accused of being the follower of Ibn saba(sevener) the very people Imam Ali has been accused of burning in an account written in the time of Abassid Caliphs… We spend more time burning or BBQ chicken these days.

    http://www.theismaili.org/

  18. Aziz,

    yes, he also said, “i am a wise man for i know i know nothing”. philosophers much like religions can often be self contridicting. that’s what makes them so fun. so what do you think of the name the guys in minnesota want to use for their center? i see that guy is not held in high regard amoung the shia.

    “but have been accused of being the follower of Ibn saba(sevener) the very people Imam Ali has been accused of burning” i have no idea what you are talking about here. but i’ll check out your link. so where do you live?

    http://www.call-to-monotheism.com/why_did_ali_burn_some_apostates___by_understanding_islam

    btw, you do understand the differance between grilling and bbq?

  19. bennet,

    “The reason Muslims don’t like criticism is because the opponents don’t want a serious discussion. They simply want to insult.” so quoting from the koran is an insult? so seriously, you are in favor of sharia.
    “That is what leads people to commit violence against other relgions.” you sure that some of the aspects of religion don’t lead people to commit violence against others, religious or not?

    “Mike,
    As usual, you quote a hadith out of context.” again, is it not a self contained story? what context is needed?
    “I don’t think the punishment was harsh since they were punished according to the Jewish Halaqa Law.” lol. so pelting people with rocks until they internally bleed to death, or you get a good blow to the head is not harsh? the punishment is harsh regardless of who’s “law” it is.
    “You also deceive everyone who reads your posts by not pointing out that all the people stoned during the Prophet’s life were punished after self confession.” so where in this hadith do they confess? nor do they ask to be stoned to death, to wash away their “sin”. quite the opposite, they try to hide the “divine verse of rajm”.

    “Gonna take my comment out of context?” lol. what context. historical? 2012? geographical?
    “Figured you would since you are a regular liar and you’ve done it b4.” how am i lying? when have i lied before?
    “I did not say I approve of stoning,” ok so you disapprove of stoning?
    “I said I don’t believe Muslims should judge people according to their own religion unless they want to be judged.” so now your are for suicide by stoning? i don’t want to take you out of “context”, but your reasoning is hard to follow. so you are saying that if a muslim commits adultry. they should be able to ask the community to stone them to death?
    “In this case for example if you feign ignorance.” again where do these jews asked to be stoned? again they try to hide “The Divine Verse of the Rajam”

    “You also deceive everyone who reads your posts by not pointing out that all the people stoned during the Prophet’s life were punished after self confession.” how do you possibly know that?

    here come back with something better than your tired “out of context” arguement. at least go to the “totality of islam arguement”

    http://islamic-replies.ucoz.com/2/Refute_Stoning_Adultery.html

  20. aziz,

    is this what you are refering to?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aga_Khan_IV

    are these the descendants of the poet, khan? what was he? a 13th, 15th century afghan? i know there are a shit ton of khans, put a hippie chick freind of mine once gave me a book of poems by a khan.

    KHAN!

  21. “i am a wise man for i know i know nothing”

    How appropriate Mike !! I won’t even try to explain that quote in terms of Sophos and Logos

    As for rude language and Insults you can be as cute as you like, I am sure you will tell me the difference between direct grilling and indirect grilling, and tell me ignorance is a bliss.

    I am not here to entertain you Mike.

    Best wishes to you and may your children benefit from your knowledge and wisdom of world of Khan’s and Muslims.

  22. aziz,

    “I am not here to entertain you Mike.” that’s too bad. because i can’t stop laughing. you’re quite witty. “How appropriate Mike !!” “you can be as cute as you like” touche. lmfao!!!

    sorry if “shit ton” offended you. but it just means alot. see i don’t find certain words to be “bad” or “rude”. although one has to wonder why dongo can constantly threatened or wished to see hot pokers up people’s asses? no accusations of hate from any fellow muslims. i was not trying to imply that all people named khan are shity. although i thinbk the pakistani nuclear scientist did the world no favors. and the KHAN is a star trek reference. and a sienfeld referance.

    but anyways, did i get the wrong religion? why so upset? don’t worry i’m not sunni. i will not declare you an apostate.

    “Best wishes to you….”

    Wa ‘Alaikum

    “Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
    Since sorrow never comes too late,
    And happiness too swiftly flies.
    Thought would destroy their paradise.
    No more; where ignorance is bliss,
    ‘Tis folly to be wise.”

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