Gunman, six others dead at Wisconsin Sikh temple
Police guard the front of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin where a gunman fired upon people at a service on Sunday Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
August 5th, 2012
08:39 PM ET

Gunman, six others dead at Wisconsin Sikh temple

By the CNN Wire Staff

Oak Creek, Wisconsin (CNN) - The FBI will investigate Sunday's rampage at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb as a "domestic terrorist-type incident" that left at least six people and the gunman dead, the town's police chief said.

Another three people were wounded, including the first officer to respond to the scene, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said. A second officer returned fire, killing the suspect, according to the chief.

All three of the wounded were in critical condition at Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital, spokeswoman Carolyn Bellin told CNN. The congregation's president was among the wounded, his nephew said.

And another man told the CNN affiliate WTMJ, "Nobody's angry here. We're just confused. Was this a random act? Was this directed at us because of the way we look?"

Police did not release information about the gunman, with Edwards saying, "That is being checked into and is part of the criminal investigation." Nor would he disclose specifics of why the attack was being classified as an act of domestic terrorism.

The Sikh religion originated in northern India around 1500 and has about 25 million followers, 700,000 of them in the United States, according to the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Because of their customary beards and turbans, Sikh men are often confused for Hindus or Muslims - and have been the targets of hate crimes since the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, said Surinder Singh, a spokesman for the Guru Nanak Mission Society of Atlanta.

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Filed under: Crime • Sikh

soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    August 9, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! ,

      August 10, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Joseph

      Joanne, there are no words to describe how amnazig you are. Not only do you take a beautiful picture you capture the emotions so perfectly. You are amnazig and we are so happy that you captured all three of our perfect moments. Thank youAmrita and Jag

      September 9, 2012 at 3:27 am |
  2. Ashok Matharu

    I would also like James Jones to read Sikh history and the atrocities committed by the Muslims rulers
    against the Sikhs and their gurus and then come out and say that Sikhs are violent people.

    August 8, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  3. Ashok Matharu

    This in answer to James Jones who does not seem to have any inkling of history. Before independence, Hindus , Muslims and Sikhs lived peacefully side by side, so much so that they even spoke the same language -Punjabi. Then come the British who draw a line across the Indian subcontinent, one side now is Muslim Pakistan and the other Hindu and Sikh India.Overnight people find themselves homeless, shetlterless, countary less. Muslims take over Hindu and Sikh homes forcibly. Violence ensues, massacres occur, children women elderly are all killed fightinggs are occur as people find themselves changing countries, livelihood. Whereas the Sikh violence in all this. I guess ask the Britsh.

    August 8, 2012 at 4:28 am |
  4. Ashok Matharu

    Like always reading all these comments it comes out clearly as always the ignorance and lack of worldly knowledge about peoples of the world especially by the the Americans and Chrstiains who consider themselves as Gods gift to the world. Ignorance is a bliss up to a certain point. I would like the commentators to do some serious research on Sikhism before just
    writing based purely on hearsay and understanding what this greatest religion is all about.

    August 8, 2012 at 2:46 am |
  5. Ashok Matharu

    Sikhs are neither Hindus nor are they Muslims. It is like saying Muslims are Christians yet both these religions have Abrahamanic overtones. Sikhism is a distinct religion with cultural background of both Hindu and Muslim customs because it arose from those communities. . Guru Nanak was at no time influenced by the Muslim poet Kabir. Guru Granth Sahib is a holy scripture of the Sikhs and is the word of god. Only some of those sayings which are in line with sikh philosophy by other saints like Kabir are included and they form less than 7 -8 % of the sikh scripture.

    August 8, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  6. Sam Yaza

    Sikhs you christian are ridicules to attack them yes they are monotheist which put them in a strange position, but they do believe yours and their god is one and the same, basically its Wicca + Christianity another words their more christian then Americas Christians and even thought they pray to Yahweh in his name Waheguru which i find confounding there good people

    August 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.