Person of interest not involved in Wisconsin shooting - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

FBI: Person of interest not involved in Sikh temple shooting

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A tactical team gathers after a gunman opens fire on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, WI, on Aug. 5. (Source: EPA) A tactical team gathers after a gunman opens fire on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, WI, on Aug. 5. (Source: EPA)
Police are searching for this unidentified man who was seen at the scene of the shooting after gunfire had stopped. (Source: Oak Creek Police Department/FBI) Police are searching for this unidentified man who was seen at the scene of the shooting after gunfire had stopped. (Source: Oak Creek Police Department/FBI)
Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy was ambushed by a shooter at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. He is expected to survive. (Source: City of Oak Creek) Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy was ambushed by a shooter at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. He is expected to survive. (Source: City of Oak Creek)
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    Reaction to Sikh temple shooting

    Sunday, August 5 2012 5:32 PM EDT2012-08-05 21:32:44 GMT
    Embassy of India, WashingtonWe have seen reports on the tragic incident earlier today of firing at a group of worshippers in a Gurudwara in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The Embassy is
    The Indian Embassy in Washington has issued a statement about the shooting in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, WI.

OAK CREEK, WI (RNN) - Police have identified a man they called a "person of interest" and determined he was not involved in a shooting that left seven dead at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee on Sunday.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported police had identified the man by 4 p.m. ET. The man's name was not released.

Police were looking for the man, who was described by bystanders as "suspicious," according to Oak Creek, WI, Police Chief John Edwards, after a man opened fire at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, killing six before he was gunned down Sunday.

The photograph released by the FBI shows part of a 9/11 commemorative tattoo on his right arm. The tattoo becomes more clear in images taken by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

Witnesses at the Sikh temple said alleged shooter Wade Michael Page also had a 9/11 tattoo.

At a news conference at the Oak Creek Police Department on Monday, Edwards said the man appeared at the Sikh Temple of Milwaukee after alleged gunman Wade Michael Page was shot and killed by police.

"He left the scene before anyone could ascertain what he was doing there," Edwards said.

Officials assured the public initial reports of multiple shooters were incorrect, as is often the case in an active shooter situation.

"There's nothing more to worry about as far as this situation goes," Edwards said.

Officials said the suspect used a 9mm handgun which used multiple magazines. Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson admitted there were multiple types of ammunition found on the scene, but declined to go into further detail on how many magazines or what kinds of ammunition were found.

Edwards insisted authorities only found evidence to indicate there was one shooter on the scene.

An agent with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said the 9mm handgun was obtained legally, but skirted the question of who was the legal purchaser.

Documents from North Carolina show Page had permits to hold one pistol and three handguns. The permits had been issued in 2008 and were set to expire May 5, 2013.

Police are investigating the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism, defined as a crime in which force or violence is used for social or political gain.

"We are doing everything we can… to get the answers we need to resolve this situation and begin the healing process," Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi said.

Page allegedly opened fire in the temple, killing Prakash Singh, 39; Sita Singh, 41; Paramjit Kaur, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65; and Suveg Singh, 84. 

At least three were critically injured in the melee, including Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, 51, a 21-year veteran of the department who had worked previously as a tactical team leader.

"[Murphy was] first officer on scene and as he entered into the driveway area came upon a victim, went to render aid," Edwards said

Murphy was ambushed by Page and shot nine times at close range in the temple's parking lot. The victim Murphy was aiding died on the scene. Page was killed in later return fire from an officer after he had shot two police vehicles.

Murphy, who is in critical condition and has undergone two surgeries, is resting with his family at a nearby hospital and is expected to recover. He was aided by a protective vest, which he wore during the shooting as part of his uniform.

Police would not discuss a possible motive for the shooting, although witnesses said they saw a 9/11 tattoo on Page. In addition, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Monday Page had been a member of a "white power" band, indicating possible racial motivations.

Officers are still unsure of how Page got into the temple, although the gunman opened fire while temple members were readying a meal after a service. The meal was open to people of all religions.

A candle light vigil is planned for Monday night from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. Another vigil will be held Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET. A fund has also been started on their behalf.

Sikhism is a 500-year-old religion with more than 20 million adherents worldwide, according to sikhs.org. The founder of the religion was Guru Nunak, who was born in Punjab, India, in 1469.

Nunak was influenced by the Hindu and Muslim religions, and Sikhism contains influences from both religions, but is not an amalgamation of the two. Adherents do not cut their hair, follow dietary laws, believe in equality for men and women, hard work, and believe in one god.

The religion teaches tolerance and nonviolence. The word "sikh" means disciple in the Punjabi language.

The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin has been active in Oak Creek since 2006.

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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  • Victims Memorial Fund (SIDEBAR)

    To donate to victims:

    Monday, August 6 2012 12:22 PM EDT2012-08-06 16:22:53 GMT
    The temple has asked all donations be addressed to: Victims Memorial Fund c/o Sikh Temple 7512 S. Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154
    The temple has asked all donations be addressed to: Victims Memorial Fund c/o Sikh Temple 7512 S. Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154
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