Mass Shooting At Sikh Temple In Wisconsin

There’s been another mass shooting, this time at a Sikh Temple in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and at least at this moment, it appears that there’s an on-going hostage situation and multiple gunmen:

At least four people were shot just after 10 a.m. Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, and a police SWAT team entered the building before noon and brought uninjured people out of the building at 7512 S. Howell Ave.

Moments ago, they started removing injured people from the temple’s prayer room.

SWAT team members were still sweeping the building about 1 p.m. and an explosion was heard from the building at that time.

The first officer on the scene encountered an active shooter and exchanged fire with him, according to Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt.

The shooter went down and the officer was hit multiple times, but is expected to survive, said Wentland, who is acting as police spokesman for the incident.

Among those who were shot was the president of the temple, Satwant Kaleka, who was taken to a hospital.

Deepinder Dhaliwal said Kaleka, his brother in law, was shot in the back, but has now been taken to a hospital in St. Francis.

Dhaliwal said his sister, the president’s wife, called him while hiding inside the building with a few other women.

People were in the temple as early as 6:30 a.m. Sunday and many more were arriving for a service that was to begin about 11:30 a.m.

There were reports that children were taken away from the area of the building where the shooting took place after shots were fired.

Someone who sent a text message to a Journal Sentinel reporter shortly before noon said that there were two shooters with children possibly as hostages.

And the head priest was locked inside a restroom with a cell phone and that there were as many as 20 to 30 victims.

One of the temple’s committee members, Ven Boba Ri, said that based on communication with people inside the temple, the shooter was a white male in his 30s.

“We have no idea,” he said of the motive. “It’s pretty much a hate crime. It’s not an insider.”

According to Ri, the man started shooting after he walked up to a priest who was standing outside, and shot him.

Then he went inside and started shooting.

People inside the temple were using cell phones to call people outside, saying please send help, Ri said.

The Oak Creek Police Chief has told the press that a gunman was taken down outside the temple by a police officer who was also wounded in the firefight but was expected to live. However, people on the scene who have heard from relatives still inside the temple and communicating by cell phone or text message (apparently in hiding) are saying that there are multiple gunmen.

It’s far too early to know what this is all about, but it’s worth remembering that, in the wake of the September 11th attacks Sikh men became the targets of attacks because of their practice of wearing turbans and growing long beards leading some less-enlightened people to mistake them for Muslim.

Updates as warranted.

Update: The Oak Creek, Wisc. Police Chief just finished a press briefing where he reported seven people dead, four of them inside the temple, three outside the temple including someone believed to have been a gunman. The reports of multiple gunmen have not been confirmed, but there was no discussion about the people who may still be inside the building.

Update: An updated article from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

At least seven people were killed, including one shooter, just after 10 a.m. Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, police said.

Four of the dead were inside the temple at 7512 S. Howell Ave. and three of the dead, including a shooter, were outside the temple.

A police SWAT team entered the building before noon and brought uninjured people out of the building at 7512 S. Howell Ave.

They started removing injured people from the temple’s prayer room.

SWAT team members were still sweeping the building about 1 p.m. and an explosion was heard from the building at that time. It was unclear what the explosion was.

The first officer on the scene encountered an active shooter and exchanged fire with him, according to Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt who briefed media on the scene.

The shooter went down and is believed to be dead, said Wentlandt, who is acting as police spokesman for the incident. He said authorities had no evidence of a second shooter.

Wentlandt said the officer was hit multiple times, but is expected to survive. He said the officer was a 20-year veteran and “an extremely accomplished tactical officer.” He was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa where he was in surgery just before 2 p.m.

Among those who were shot was the president of the temple, Satwant Kaleka, who was taken to a hospital.

There were apparently upwards of 50 people inside the temple when the shooter arrived. Had he arrived an hour later when services were set to begin and other activities were taking place, there would have been as many as 300-400 people there. The police apparently have control over the temple, which is quite a large facility at 17,000 square feet, and are questioning the survivors. The further we go on, the less likely it seems that there were multiple gunmen involved here.

The next question, of course, will be motive, but that will likely have to wait until the gunman is identified and his residence is searched.

 

FILED UNDER: Crime, Quick Takes, Religion
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ben Wolf says:

    A hate crime against Sikhs is like a hate crime against Wiccans. If that’s what is happening then its one more good-ol’-boy out to save Murka from the Ayyyyyyyy-raaaabs, and anyone who isn’t white and Christian is an Ayyyyyyyy-raaaab.

    I sincerely hope the motives are entirely different.

  2. Lit3Bolt says:

    Just don’t call this terrorism. That would be too confusing.

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Lit3Bolt: I don’t call incidents involving lone nuts “terrorism” in most cases. If they’re part of a larger organization and/or there’s a serious intent to communicate a political message, then yeah.

  4. Winghunter says:

    He pulled an Obama: “We have no idea,” he said of the motive. “It’s pretty much a hate crime. It’s not an insider.”

    Obama on his racist pal’s (Gates) arrest: “I don’t know what happened but, the officer acted stupidly.”

  5. Ben Wolf says:

    @James Joyner: If this is a hate crime, then there is a political message: Non-Americans Get Out.

  6. Ernieyeball says:

    I don’t much give a damn about motives.
    The opportunity to slaughter people with firearms for no reason in this country is a huge part of the problem.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    @Winghunter:

    He pulled an Obama: “We have no idea,” he said of the motive. “It’s pretty much a hate crime. It’s not an insider.”
    Obama on his racist pal’s (Gates) arrest: “I don’t know what happened but, the officer acted stupidly.”

    Looks like you just pulled a few Kool Aids.

  8. DRS says:

    Hey, Winghunter – that idiot Boston cop should have had his ass fired for lousy police work. But of course he was the “victim” of a old man who told him to leave his private property. A man’s home is his castle and all that – isn’t that would good conservatives should say?

  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    Fuck off, winghunter.

  10. Neil Hudelson says:

    I think my last comment was caught by the moderator fi

  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    Ugh stupid phone. I think my firsg comment was caught in a filter. I understand if its not sprung but i feel its appropriat.

    I would suggest that this article/thread be bumped up from “quicktakes” as i think a fairly lengthy thread is going to ensue.

  12. de stijl says:

    From CNN:

    Oak Creek, Wisconsin, police Chief John Edwards said authorities are treating Sunday’s shooting at a Sikh temple in that community as a “domestic terrorist-type incident,” adding that the FBI will head the investigation.

  13. Lit3Bolt says:

    @James Joyner:

    That’s a perception problem, James. The United States has had a history of home grown terrorism for centuries. Plus these lone nuts tend to happen a lot.

    Put it this way. If a Muslim gunman went inside and started shooting up a synagogue, would we be making mealy mouthed excuses about “guns are freedom” and “lone nuts?” No. Our language, framing, characterization, and narrative would all automatically change.

  14. greg says:

    Terrorism . yes!
    Religious – terrorism!

    I’ll bet this guy has Muslim issues, or the like.
    Our current climate tends to lead to a motive for these nuts, whether it be the Bachmann types or the tea party types.
    A country that was once about diversity is quickly becoming a country of the intolerant. At least to the fringe element that exists.

  15. G.A. says:

    http://fox6now.com/2012/08/05/authorities-executing-search-warrant-at-home-of-suspected-gunman/

    So you can follow it more with more ease. I dive right past that Temple on my way to work.

    Our current climate tends to lead to a motive for these nuts, whether it be the Bachmann types or the tea party types.

    Umm…PROVE IT YOU LYING *.*.*.!!!!!

  16. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Nope… It all doesn’t matter.

    We saw the chickenshit political reactions after Aurora.

    Loud wailing, gnashing of teeth, rending of garments…

    But in the end, nothing of substance.

    The NRA has won, many years ago.

    This is our new reality: 20 of these a year.

    Why act surprised.

    … sick fuckers.

  17. greg says:

    @ G.A.
    With everything we see, from bitherism, to ‘exercising our second amendment rights’, to calling well vetted staff as ‘members of the Muslim brotherhood’, one can plainly see the current climate feeds into this.
    But I digress(knowing I don’t have to prove it to you G.A.), the perpetrator may just be your normal crazy. I guess we wait and see.

  18. Ernieyeball says:

    @greg: the perpetrator may just be your normal crazy. I guess we wait and see.

    …normal crazy…

    So the crazy crazy is birtherism, 2nd amendment rights…???

    I suspect the top of this scale reads Fuckin’ Crazy!!!

  19. Ernieyeball says:

    I’ll tell ya what’s crazy…Seeing the notice that your comment has been placed in the moderation queue and then see it posted in the thread with the next click!

  20. bk says:

    @Winghunter: I believe, among other things, that you have spelled your name wrong, Wingnutter.

  21. bk says:

    @James Joyner: So then the only thing in your view that made the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing terrorism is that McVeigh had an accomplice??

  22. G.A. says:

    G.A.
    With everything we see, from bitherism, to ‘exercising our second amendment rights’, to calling well vetted staff as ‘members of the Muslim brotherhood’, one can plainly see the current climate feeds into this.

    lol…you forgot chicken sandwich loving freedom of speech supporters…

    the perpetrator may just be your normal crazy. I guess we wait and see.

    Ya, after you spread your lie of a narrative.You might just be right for the first time and your Wish will come true that this guy is a member of the tea party…

    Liberals are so pathetic…

  23. Ernieyeball says:

    Crazy Crazy…
    Fukin’ Crazy…

    Then there’s G.A.

  24. G.A. says:

    http://oakcreek.patch.com/articles/woman-says-her-son-is-landlord-of-gunman-in-temple-shooting

    You might get better updates from this site.

    Crazy Crazy…
    Fukin’ Crazy…

    Then there’s G.A.

    lol ya, and then above that there would a unique slot for each and every liberal(because they did want to be profiled and said the would sue) ..and at the top is a special place for a backdoor using Hippie..Kind of like the star on the Christmas tree or a magic wand or something…

  25. al-Ameda says:

    America has approximately 310 Million people and about 250 Million guns, and figure that about 1/100th of 1 percent of the people are unstable, and are able to easily acquire guns, therefore this kind of thing will inevitably happen every so often.

    We’re awash in guns and we do not care to further regulate ease of access,so we just have to put up with it. We’re unwilling to do anything about it.

  26. Ernieyeball says:

    I’m sorry, I can’t help it. He leaves himself wide open all the time…

  27. G.A. says:

    We’re awash in guns and we do not care to further regulate ease of access,so we just have to put up with it. We’re unwilling to do anything about it.

    How about we send the troops into like Chicago and go into like the gang neighborhoods and do a door to door gun sweep, unannounced?

  28. Scott O says:

    @G.A.: I know some people that ride bikes to work but you’re the first one I’ve heard of that swims to work. Nice. Must keep you in shape.

  29. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    How about we send the troops into like Chicago and go into like the gang neighborhoods and do a door to door gun sweep, unannounced?

    You just proved my point, thank you. Did I suggest a door-to-door gun sweep? Of course not.

    We’re unwilling to accept even a simple extension of the law regulating purchase of automatic assault weapons, so really, there is no chance that we’re going to get serious about making it difficult for unstable people to acquire weaponry. We’re really not serious about gun violence in this country. Just the way we are.

  30. G.A. says:

    I know some people that ride bikes to work but you’re the first one I’ve heard of that swims to work. Nice. Must keep you in shape.

    lake Michigan goes right from my house to my job:)

    Dude I spell for ****, I am losing my vision, and like times that by ten when some idiot ****** me off.

    You just proved my point, thank you. Did I suggest a door-to-door gun sweep? Of course not.

    Do you want to solve the majority of the gun violence problem or not?And yes I was exaggerating to make a point…

    We’re unwilling to accept even a simple extension of the law regulating purchase of automatic assault weapons, so really, there is no chance that we’re going to get serious about making it difficult for unstable people to acquire weaponry. We’re really not serious about gun violence in this country. Just the way we are.

    Regulations we have, a willingness to stop criminals not so much.

    The logic is simple. People are going to kill by whatever means they can, lets focus on the ones that we know are going to do it everyday and that we know probably obtained their guns illegally and stop messing with the right of the law abiding gun owner.Also the people like them who carry and might have a chance of stopping soulless psychopaths like this.

    I truly hate to break it to you but the world will continue to become more evil and there is little we will ever be able to do about it but try to defend ourselves.

    And you know, you collage educated grammar Nazi’s could be a little more constructive with you criticism when it come to only using it to finally think you got me..lol…

  31. G.A. says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/7-dead-sikh-temple-oak-creek-wis-officials-164104371–abc-news-topstories.html

    So now if you belong to a violent gang you cannot own a gun and we are going to come and take away the ones you have legislation will be introduced by a democrat and is being written as we…oh wait, no it’s not, silly me.

  32. Scott O says:

    @G.A.:I’m going to write “I will not be a grammar nazi” one hundred times on a blackboard if I can find one. And I voted up your comments too.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    Unfortunately, we don’t really care if people die because of shootings in this country. Talk about sacrifices on the altar of the Gun God. Because it’s FREEEDOM!

    I swear, the NRA is nothing more than a front for gun manufacturers. They won’t be happy until we have no gun restrictions and all and go around armed to the teeth.

  34. G.A. says:

    I’m going to write “I will not be a grammar nazi” one hundred times on a blackboard if I can find one. And I voted up your comments too.

    🙂

  35. al-Ameda says:

    @G.A.:

    and that we know probably obtained their guns illegally and stop messing with the right of the law abiding gun owner.Also the people like them who carry and might have a chance of stopping soulless psychopaths like this.

    That soulless psychopath probably obtained his guns legally, just like that guy in Aurora. both were law abiding guys until they decided to use their guns to realize their warped fantasies.

    Again, 310M people, 250M guns – there is not much we can or want to do about this stuff. It’s the way we are.

  36. matt says:

    @al-Ameda: Indeed people will always figure out a way to murder each other…

  37. Ernieyeball says:

    Indeed people will always figure out a way to murder each other…

    …murder each other…

    It’s not like the Sikh’s were looking to engage this goon…or the movie goers wanted to use some punk for target practice…or Ms. Giffords’ entourage was waiting to ambush the next armed schizophrenic to come along.
    For whatever reason these three gunman believed that religious, social and political assination are acceptable forms of behavior (speech?) in The United States and were totally unencumbered in their murderous pursuits.

  38. matt says:

    @Ernieyeball: We as a species have a very long history of killing each other. Deal with it.

  39. Ernieyeball says:

    Deal With It.

    I’m sure that’s the defense James Holmes’ lawyer will be using…