August 5, 2012
At least seven people have been killed and twenty injured as a gunman took over a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The number includes the gunman, who was killed by police. Officials are treating it as a “domestic terrorist-type incident.”
Four of those shot died inside the temple, while the three others (two victims and a gunman) were killed outside the building.
Police say they do not believe there is a second gunman at the temple, despite previous reports speculating about possible additional assailants. Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt explained that reports of multiple gunmen may be based on several police radio calls about a gunman.
Officers managed to enter the temple, and questioned people who had gathered on its basement floor. Tactical units then seached the temple, concluding that there was no second shooter.
Three adults have been hospitalized with gun wounds into their faces, police report. They are all in critical condition. The temple’s president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was among the wounded, though his condition remains unknown, his nephew Jatin Der Mangat said.
The first police officer to arrive at the scene engaged in gunfire outside the temple with the man police believe was the hostage-taker, Wentlandt stated. The suspected assailant was killed, while the police officer was shot multiple times but is expected to survive.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said the incident was being treated as a case of domestic terrorism, with the FBI conducting an investigation.
As many as a hundred people were gathered at the Brookfield Temple for a morning service. The temple was holding a special children’s service today, with a featured guest from India. Many potential victims were spared, as the temple was only partially full when the attack began, an hour before a big Sunday service was scheduled to start.
The first information from the scene came from the temple’s head priest, who was reportedly locked in a restroom with a cell phone.