Six people lay dead or mortally wounded at a Sikh temple yesterday in what Oak Creek, Wi., police said was being treated as a domestic terrorist incident – if so, one without precedent in Wisconsin, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Counting the gunman – fatally shot by an Oak Creek police officer – the death count stands at seven. It was 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 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. Last night, team members – some wearing military gear and carrying heavy weapons – surrounded a duplex in Cudahy, Wi. The upper flat had been rented just one month ago by a single man in his 40s. The FBI said it had not established a motive. A law enforcement source said the shooter had been discharged from the Army. Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said officers arriving on the scene “stopped a tragedy that could have been a lot worse.”