Seven dead in Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting
Reports are coming out of America today of an assault by a gunman on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, with seven people reported as dead including the gunman.
Police were called to the gurdwara early on Sunday morning, after what appears to be a single gunman – described as white, male and of stocky build – shot and killed two people in the gurdwara’s car park, and then entered the temple and proceeded to open fire, killing four more.
There are currently six confirmed deaths and at least twenty more injured, three of whom are in a critical condition in hospital after being shot in the face.
Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt announced that the first police officer on the scene engaged the gunman in a fire-fight in the car park, resulting in the death of the gunman and the injuring of the police officer. The unnamed police officer – a veteran of twenty years – has been taken to hospital with multiple gunshot wounds, but he is expected to survive.
There were unsubstantiated reports of a second gunman and of children being held hostage in the basement of the temple, but SWAT teams have swept the building and the claims appear to have been false. It is alleged that suggestions there may have been more than one gunman were due to multiple police reports pertaining to the solo gunman.
The White House confirms that President Obama has been made aware of the situation, and he is expected to make a statement soon. Elements of the Sikh community have reported overwhelming support from the Muslim, Hindu and atheist communities, and from the Salvation Army who are at the gurdwara itself offering support to the victims.
There has been an outpouring of shock and anger online over the assault against the temple, with particular wrath being directed towards a statement by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which stated that it was “Too early to say if this will be considered an act of terrorism”.