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Sikh Temple of Wisconsin »info

Owner: Allison Shaw

Dedicated To: Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

Tribute: To the survivors, victims and family and friends of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

On August 5, 2012, a mass shooting took place at the gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, where a 40-year-old gunman fatally shot six people and wounded four others. The shooter committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer.

The shooter was an American white supremacist and Army veteran from Cudahy, Wisconsin. Apart from the shooter, all of the dead were members of the Sikh faith. The incident drew responses from President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dignitaries attended candlelight vigils in countries such as the U.S., Canada, and India. First Lady Michelle Obama visited the temple on August 23, 2012.

Following emergency calls around 10:25 a.m. CDT, police responded to a shooting at a Sikh gurdwara located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. On arrival, they engaged the gunman who had shot several people at the temple, killing six. The shooter wounded an officer; after being shot in the stomach by another, he fatally shot himself in the head. He was armed with a Springfield XD(M) 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol. The shooter had legally purchased the gun in Wisconsin. Four people were killed inside the temple, and three people, including the gunman, died outside. The shooter killed five men and one woman, ranging in age from 39 to 84.

Three men were transported to Froedtert Hospital, including one of the responding officers.

Initial reports said the gunman had died from being shot by police officers at the scene, but the FBI later clarified that he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Authorities released an audio recording of the incident, during which the first responding officer, Lieutenant Brian Murphy, was shot by the gunman. It contained the words "I have someone walking out the driveway towards me. A man with a gun, white t-shirt", followed by the sound of gunfire. In September 2012, authorities released video recordings taken by squad cars during the incident, including the moments when Murphy was shot, and the gunman being shot by another officer. Murphy was shot fifteen times by the gunman but survived.

The temple was preparing langar, a Sikh communal meal, for later in the day. Witnesses suggested that women and children would have been at the temple preparing for the meal at the time of the incident, as children’s classes were scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated the site, and Oak Creek police chief John Edwards said his force treated the incident as a "domestic terrorism incident" in "the beginning stages of this investigation". Oak Creek police handed the investigation over to the FBI. They also investigated possible ties to white supremacist groups and other racial motivations. The FBI said there was no reason to think anyone else was involved in the attack, and they were not aware of any past threat made against the temple. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described the incident as "an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime."