FBI: Motive in Oak Creek Sikh temple shooting unclear
The children were downstairs, in Sunday school.
The women were in the kitchen nearby, cooking the weekly meal that is free to all.
And the gunman was striding into the wide-open Sikh Temple, bent on killing as many people as he could.
Then came the shots, ripped off, according to a weapons instructor who lives nearby, "as fast as you can pull the trigger."
By the time the shooter was done, six people lay dead or mortally wounded in what Oak Creek police said was being treated as a domestic terrorist incident - if so, one without precedent in Wisconsin.
Counting the gunman - fatally shot by an Oak Creek police officer - the death count stands at seven.
"This," a temple leader said later, "is insanity."
It is also the most deadly U.S. attack on Sikhs - who often have been mistaken for Muslims and targeted in hate crimes - in recent memory.
Within three hours of the mass slaying at the five-year-old temple, built on S. Howell Ave. to accommodate the Milwaukee area's growing Sikh community, a task force of federal, state and local law enforcement officers was gathering on the scene.
Sunday night, team members - some wearing military gear and carrying heavy weapons - surrounded a duplex in Cudahy.
The upper flat had been rented just one month ago by a single man in his 40s, the landlord, Kurt Weins, said.
"I had him checked out and he definitely checked out," said Weins, who refused to name the man. "The cops told me they don't want me to say nothing right now."
An FBI official later confirmed that the police action in Cudahy, which involved numerous agencies and heavy military-style equipment, was related to the temple slayings.
FBI Special Agent Theresa Carlson said officers were executing a search warrant. The agency said they had not established a motive.
A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said the shooter had been discharged from the Army. The source said one firearm was recovered at the temple as well as multiple magazines.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said officers arriving on the scene "stopped a tragedy that could have been a lot worse."
Beyond the murders, three people were injured in the rampage.
They included an Oak Creek police officer who was helping a victim outside the temple when the gunman opened fire on him.
A second Oak Creek officer returned fire, killing the shooter.
The police officer and two other men were taken to Froedtert Hospital. All were in critical condition with gunshot wounds - one to the chest and abdomen, one to the neck, and the third to his face and extremities, a hospital spokesman said.
The mass shooting occurred some time before 10:30 a.m., as members of the temple prepared for weekly worship. The first 911 calls were recorded at 10:26 a.m.
The service was to begin at 11:30 a.m., but dozens of people were already on hand.
The temple opens at 5:30 a.m. to anyone who wants to pray on their own, and in the three days leading up to the service, priests read continuously from a holy book.
In the kitchen downstairs, women were cooking for the "langar," a free, shared meal that is part of a Sikh tradition emphasizing equality and common roots.
Children were at Sunday school, where they are taught about religion, culture and the language of Punjab, the part of northwestern India that is the Sikh homeland.
Then shots rang out.
Two children ran to the kitchen, and they and the women there - 16 people in all - made for a pantry, closed themselves in and huddled, terrified.
Two priests and a few others locked themselves inside a bathroom. One used a cell phone to report that Satwant Kaleka, the temple president, had been shot twice and was lying on the floor, bleeding.
Kaleka, who died, had tried to tackle the shooter, said his son, Amardeep Kaleka.
Outside, another man, shot in the abdomen, staggered to a ranch house 300 yards away and pounded on the door.
Jim Haase opened the door to see a gray-bearded man of 60 or 70 years old standing in a blood-soaked white tunic.
"He couldn't speak English but he was pointing at it," Haase said of the victim gesturing to the wound in his mid-section.
A weapons instructor, Vietnam veteran and retired firefighter trained as a first responder, Haase knew what to do.
He grabbed a towel and laid the man on his front lawn to apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
The bullet, which made an entry hole no bigger than the diameter of a pen, appeared to go straight through the man, who remained conscious the whole time, Haase said.
He called Oak Creek police, then continued to tend to the victim until an ambulance arrived.
Police were at the temple within three minutes of the initial 911 call, but the very first call was so garbled that the gravity of the situation didn't come through.
"Squad, I'm taking report of a altercation, Sikh temple, 7512 S. Howell," the police dispatcher said. "I have a lot of noise. I'm unable to get much info, but there's a fight . . . "
Less than a minute later, however, the dispatcher added that there had been reports of gunshots. Very shortly after that, she radioed that "a bald male with glasses may have shot someone."
Four of the slaying victims were found inside the temple, 7512 S. Howell. Three were outside.
Among them was the gunman himself. He had opened fire on an Oak Creek police officer who was helping a victim, when another officer shot him.
The injured officer, who has been on the force at least 20 years, is expected to survive, Chief Edwards said at a media briefing outside the temple. He did not name the officer.
Edwards said the mass shooting is being treated as an incident of domestic terrorism. But FBI representatives later backed away from that categorization, saying they were still investigating motive.
Though the gunman was killed outside the temple not long after the shooting spree began, it wasn't until shortly before noon that a police SWAT team entered the building and brought uninjured people out.
For Parminder Toor and the other women barricaded in the kitchen pantry, it was more than an hour of terror.
Toor, 54, spoke to a reporter later Sunday at Classic Lanes, a bowling alley across Howell Avenue where uninjured temple members gathered and were interviewed by police.
The women could smell oil burning in the kitchen where they had left the food cooking, and they cried as they hid from the gunman, she said through her daughter in law, Jaskiran Toor.
When police came, the women were still wary.
"The police officers knocked on the door, (but) they were scared and didn't want to open it," Jaskiran Toor said.
She said the women were led out one by one with their hands behind their head.
As they walked through the temple, crying, Parminder Toor saw three bodies.
Others saw them too. Kulwant Kaur had hidden in the pantry, and as she was led out, a relative said, she saw her father-in-law lying on the floor, blood coming from his head.
Also in the kitchen when the shooting broke out, and taking refuge in the pantry, was the mother of Gulpreet Kaur.
"Two bullets passed by on either side of her, her friend was hit in the foot," said Kaur, 24.
Kaur, who was allowed in to the bowling alley, said her mother was traumatized by what happened and alternately cried and talked about what she heard and saw.
REST AT PROVIDED LINK
FOUR SHOOTERS REPORTED
GOVERNMENT HAS LABELED SHOOTING A DOMESTIC TERROR INCIDENT:
OBAMA SUPPORTERS HAVE PREVIOUSLY ENDORSED SEIZING ON TERROR ATTACKS:
IS SIKH TEMPLE SHOOTING STAGED TO BAN GUNS?
DON'T FORGET... THE BATMAN SHOOTING IS ALSO A SETUP:
450 million rounds of .40 pistol ammunition bought, 10,000 MRAP armored cars brought back...
HOMELAND SECURITY AND MILITARY VEHICLES SPOTTED ON HIGHWAY:
COPY THIS BOOK: http://www.scribd.com/doc/51729720/SECOND-AMERICAN-REVOLUTION-VICTORY-GUIDE-2-0
One motive, filmmaker shot? http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/08/sirius-filmmakers-father-shot-in-illuminati-hit-in-wisconsin-temple-2447920.html
MORE PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE... http://zen-haven.dk/was-the-sikh-temple-shooting-suspect-also-dosed-up-on-legal-drugs/
SHOOTING SUSPECT, FORMER ARMY PSYOP OFFICER WAS A WHITE SUPREMACIST(READ "FED SNITCH") http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57487668/sikh-temple-shooting-suspect-wade-michael-page-was-white-supremacist/