Sikh temple gunman was ex-soldier linked to racist group
07 August 2012, 09:09
The gunman who killed six worshipers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was
identified as a 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran and authorities said they
were investigating possible links to white supremacist groups and his
membership in skinhead rock bands.
The assailant, shot dead by police at the scene on Sunday, was
identified as Wade Michael Page. He served as a soldier in the Army from
1992 to 1998, police chief John Edwards said in the Milwaukee suburb of
Oak Creek where the 400-member temple is located.
Survivors described women and children hiding in the pantry of
the temple's community kitchen as the gunman stormed through the
building. "Everyone was falling on top of one another," said Parminder
Toor, 54, speaking in Punjabi as her daughter-in-law, Jaskiran Kaur,
"It was dark and we were all crammed in." One of the women who
made it into the pantry had been shot in the hand, and there was "blood
everywhere," said Toor.
Federal authorities said they were treating the attack as a possible act of domestic terrorism.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which tracks hate
groups, Page was a member of two racist bands named End Apathy and
Definite Hate, "a band whose album 'Violent Victory' featured a gruesome
drawing of a disembodied white arm punching a black man in the face."
A MySpace page for a band that appears to be one of those
identified by the SPLC, End Apathy, includes songs with titles such as
"Self Destruct," "Submission" and "Insignificant," as well as pictures
of three heavily tattooed band members.
"The music is a sad commentary on our sick society and the problems that prevent true progress," the band's profile says.