OAK CREEK, Wisconsin — A gunman killed six people and critically wounded three at a Sikh temple yesterday before police shot him dead in an attack authorities are treating as an act of domestic terrorism.
Authorities said a tall, bald, white man in his 40s opened fire just before services had begun, entering the kitchen at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee at about 10:30 a.m. as women prepared a Sunday meal, sending worshippers fleeing to escape the barrage.
Some witnesses said he had a 9/11 tattoo, marking the September 11, 2001 attacks by Islamic militants.
“He had tattoos, I don’t know what the exact markings were, or if they represented any of his beliefs or what they stood for,” said Thomas Ahern, a spokesman for the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Four people were shot dead inside the sprawling temple. Three more, including the gunman, were killed outside.
The gunman ambushed and shot a police officer who was responding to a 911 call and helping a shooting victim, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said. A second officer shot and killed the gunman.
The wounded officer, a 20-year veteran, was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive. Hospital officials said two other victims, also in critical condition, were being treated.
Authorities did not release the name of the suspect. They said the shooter had used a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which was recovered at the scene. Officials were tracing origin of the weapon, Ahern said.
Police surrounded and searched a gray, two-storey house in the Cudahy neighbourhood, presumed to be the residence of the gunman on Sunday evening. Generators and floodlights were set up along the middle-class block. (Reuters)