Six people are dead after a gunman fired at worshippers preparing for religious service inside a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on Aug. 5. The victims, one woman and five men, ranged from 39 to 84. The gunman, who was shot by police, has been identified as Wade Michael Page, 40, a veteran who was in the military from 1992 to 1998 and was ineligible for reenlistment. According to Reuters, U.S. military sources said “Page had been discharged from the Army in 1998 for ‘patterns of misconduct’ and had been cited for being drunk on duty.” FBI officials have launched a domestic terrorism probe, investigating possible leads that Page was linked to white supremacist groups. The shooting has also sparked vigils as well as anti-American demonstrations overseas.
Sikh temple gunman was ex-soldier linked to racist group
Brendan O’Brien and James B. Kelleher
12:36 p.m. EDT, August 6, 2012
OAK CREEK, Wisconsin (Reuters) – Police identified the gunman who killed six people at a Wisconsin Sikh temple as a 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran, and a monitor of extremists said he was a member of a racist skinhead band.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards told a news conference on Monday that the gunman, who was shot dead by police at the scene on Sunday, was named Wade Michael Page, a former U.S. soldier who served from 1992 to 1998.
The gunman shot dead six people and seriously wounded three, including a police officer, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as worshippers prepared for religious services.
The victims were five men and one woman, aged between 39 and 84.
Authorities said they were treating the attack as an act of domestic terrorism. American Sikhs said they have often been singled out for harassment, and occasionally violent assault, since the September 11, 2001, attacks because they are mistaken as Muslims due to their colorful turbans and beards.
U.S. military sources said Page had been discharged from the Army in 1998 for “patterns of misconduct” and had been cited for being drunk on duty.
Page had served in the military for six years but was never posted overseas. He was a psychological operations specialist and missile repairman who was last stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the sources said.
In June 1998 he was disciplined for being drunk on duty and had his rank reduced to specialist from sergeant. He was not eligible to re-enlist.