A head priest reportedly has called in to police saying about 30 people were injured, some hostages, including children. The President of the Sikh Temple is said to have been injured. It is unknown if the Temple President and the “head priest” are the same person. Fox is reporting that 2 persons have been transported to hospital and one is in critical condition. Witnesses have been texting from inside the Temple. A local reporter says a man evacuated from inside the Temple says one of those attackers were shot by a SWAT team. Fox reports that there were two persons firing inside the Temple, and there are hostages. I will have minute-to-minute UPDATES. UPDATE: 8-6-12: The gunman has been identified as Wade Michael Page. See more below.
Remember these reports are early, and some of them unconfirmed.
UPDATE 8-6-12, 10:40 pm CDT: The gunman has been identified at Wade Michael Page, 40 years old and an ex-Army soldier.
The man authorities say killed six in a Milwaukee-area Sikh temple before police shot him was a heavily-tattooed, 40-year-old ex-Army soldier, sources told Fox News, but what triggered his rampage remains unclear.
Sources identified the dead suspect as Wade Michael Page, who was at one time attached to the Fort Bragg Army installation in North Carolina.
UPDATE 4:10 pm CDT: News Conference: Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt, from a nearby community, serving as spokesman for Oak Creek. Another briefing tomorrow at 10 am CDT.
Chief John Edwards, Oak Creek Police: “Numerous individuals that are deceased.” DOES NOT have accurate numbers at this time. Treating this as Domestic Terrorism. Will not give out demographics: names, ages, gender. Now says 7 deceased. Weapons on scene. Evidence Team has not gone in. Will not identify any weapons. No one left in Temple. Everyone has been brought out. Temple will not be open for prayers at this time, as it is a crime scene. Believe there was only one shooter, but cannot confirm it at this time. No one is in custody at this time…
According to sources in the U.S. Army, Page enlisted in April 1992 and was discharged from the Army in 1998 “under honorable conditions,” which is less than honorable discharge…
Page served at Fort Bliss, Texas, in the psychological operations unit in 1994, and was last stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., attached to the psychological operations unit. He was an E4 psychological operations specialist, but was never deployed. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct award, the National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and Parachutist Badge.
Two officers engaged the shooter. I think they are saying the first officer fired at the shooter and was shot. A second officer entered and also fired at the killer and killed him. The first officer was wounded multiple times. The second officer was not wounded.
UPDATE 3:21 pm CDT: Not much has changed. The death toll stands at 7. A hospital report says three are still in critical conditions.
UPDATE 1:42 pm CDT: Police Chief saying a killer is dead. That four are dead inside the Temple and three dead outside the Temple, one of which is the shooter. He would not say whether children are among the dead or injured.
UPDATE 1:42 pm CDT: Fox’s Harris Faulkner is saying witnesses are reported many more injured than can be confirmed.
Wounded policeman’s actions said to be “heroic.” He was shot multiple times, and “put down” the gunman, whatever that means.
UPDATE 1:40 pm CDT: Greg Jarrett is reporting crimes against the Sikh’s, vandalism, etc. Apparently the Sikh population has been mistaken as Muslims from some. About a year ago, local authorities worked within the Sikh community to inform them on matters of safety.
UPDATE 1:20 pm CDT: Reports that a third man has been taken to hospital (might be the policeman).
UPDATE 1:14 pm CDT: Police are asking news NOT to use helicopters to show video of the police action on the site.
UPDATE 1:07 pm CDT: When a policeman arrived on the scene he engaged the shooter and the policeman suffered multiple wounds. He is expected to survive. The gunman “was put down” but no one knows if he is “down” or is “dead.”
The Temple is a large, “beautiful brick building.”
UPDATE 1:05 pm CDT: County Alderman being interviewed by Fox: 10:45 Mayor informed him of shooting. There has never been any problems with the Sikh Temple. They have been good citizens. The Temple has been there for about 4 or 5 years. Oak Creek population is about 35,000.
UPDATE 12:59 pm CDT: Fox – Harris Falkern: One shooter “put down,” whatever that means. The building is being searched.
Gunman may still have hostages inside the Temple, including women and children. One man contacted brother-in-law saying his brother-in-law had been shot along with three priests. Said women and children were hiding inside closets.
Sunday is not a typical day of worship for Sikh’s, although the Temples are busy on weekends because people are not working.
At this time, police are not taking cover. No snipers are in view. No sense of urgency seen, meaning there is not much feeling that another shooter is on the loose. It may be the work of a lone gunman.
One policeman has been shot, but the injury is not life threatening.
UPDATE 12:56 CDT: FBI is on the scene.
UPDATE 12:50 CDT: A reporter at the scene reports one of the evacuees saw the SWAT team shoot one of the shooters. Of the 4 persons shot, three were priests and one was the brother of one of the priests.
UPDATE 12:46 CDT: The first call came in to Police at 10:26 am CDT.
UPDATE 12:40 CDT: The Temple is located at 7512 South Howell Ave. This report confirms that victims were seen lying on the ground in a parking lot, and says they were “covered.” The shootings happened inside the Temple.
A witness told officers the shooter was a white male, with a heavy build, bald head and wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, Oak Creek Patch reported.
UPDATE 12:33 CDT: Reports that a person who escaped out of the Temple said the shooter or shooters were not members of the Temple.
Oak Creek, Wisconsin is south of Milwaukee, along Lake Michigan
A spokesperson from a local hospital (UPDATE: Froedtert Hospital) tells Fox News they have two victims at her facility: One male in critical condition, and one male currently in operating room (surgery intensive care). The hospital is said to be about 20 minutes from the Temple is a Level 1 Trauma Center.
Reporter on the scene talking to a bystander: Said he had a friend who saw the shooter and two people lying, I believe he said in the parking lot (although that doesn’t seem to fit the story, so I might have heard incorrectly). His friend said he saw the “shooter” reload his weapon.
***I began looking for the difference between Buddhist and Sikhs. I found this:
Although Buddhism rejects the belief in a Supreme Creator Being, it accepts belief in numerous non-creator deities, and hence, is Polytheistic. By contrast, Sikhism believes in a Supreme Being, and worships Only One God, and hence, is monotheistic.
Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha some time around the 25th century BC. Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak sometime around the 17th century AD.