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Authorities name alledged assailant in Sikh temple shooting

posted 6 Aug 2012, 12:19 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 6 Aug 2012, 12:19 ]

Police identify alleged shooter in Sikh temple shooting.

Wisconsin authorities on Monday said the gunman who is believed to have murdered six people at a Sikh temple was a 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran with possible links to white supremacist groups.
The assailant, who was shot dead by police at the scene on Sunday, was identified as Wade Michael Page.

"We can say that he was in the military from 1992 to 1998. He had a general discharge and that he was ineligible for re-enlistment. I want to make it perfectly clear that right now he was the only shooter involved at the temple," said John Edwards, the police chief of Oak Chief, Wisconsin.

Page killed six people and seriously wounded three others, including a police officer, at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as worshippers prepared for religious services.

"We did not have an active investigation on him prior to yesterday. There may be references to him in various files. Those are things that are being analyzed right now but we had no reason to believe, as far as I know, no law enforcement agency had any reason to believe he was plotting or planning or capable of such violence," said Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Teresa Carlson.

Bernard Zapor, special agent in charge for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the weapon used in the shooting was a 9mm handgun that had been purchased legally. Page emptied several magazines and several more unused magazines were found on the scene.

"The firearm was purchased legally. The person who purchased it was not prohibited by federal law under the gun control act of being in possession or purchasing a firearm," Zapor said.

The victims were five men and one woman, aged between 39 and 84. Members of the Sikh community said the president of the congregation and a priest were among the victims.

There are 500,000 or more Sikhs in the United States but the community in Wisconsin is small -- approximately 2,500 to 3,000 families. The temple in Oak Creek was founded in October 1997.