OAK CREEK, Wis. — Officials on Monday identified the gunman they say killed six people inside a Sikh temple in Wisconsin as a 40-year-old Army veteran.
First Assistant U.S. Greg Haanstad in the U.S. Attorney's office in Milwaukee identified the shooter, who was shot and killed by police outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, as Wade Michael Page. The ex-Army man was reduced in rank before his discharge about 12 years ago, according to a defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information yet about the suspect.
The official told The Associated Press Page that Page entered the Army in 1992 and was discharged in 1998. The official said the man had been busted in rank from sergeant to specialist, but gave no reason.
When the gunfire at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee ended Sunday, seven people lay dead, including the gunman, and three others were critically wounded in what police called an act of domestic terrorism.
Satpal Kaleka, wife of the temple's president, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was in the front room and saw the gunman enter the temple, according to Harpreet Singh, their nephew.
"He did not speak, he just began shooting," said Singh, relaying a description of the attack from Satpal Kaleka.
Kaleka said the 6-foot-tall bald white man — who worshippers said they had never before seen at the temple — seemed like he had a purpose and knew where he was going.
Authorities have not provided further details about Page nor suggested a possible motive, including whether he specifically targeted the Sikh temple.
Associated Press writers Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee; Patrick Condon in Minneapolis; Sophia Tareen and Michelle Janaye Nealy in Chicago; Larry Neumeister in New York and Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.