The shooter who open fired before worship services Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek and killed six people before he was killed by police is Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran, U.S. Attorney James A. Santelle said Monday.
He said officials believe he purchased the 9 mm handgun legally in Wisconsin.
At a news conference at 10 a.m., authorities said there were attempting to identify another person, a white male, who they described as "a person of interest."
A man matching the photo officials showed was seen by Journal Sentinel reporters at the scene of the temple Sunday, possibly video taping what was going on. Anyone with information on the man is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Page, 40, served in the military approximately between 1992 and 1998, Santelle said.
Other sources familiar with the shooting investigation said Wade was assigned to psychological operations, or PsyOps.
At the news briefing in Oak Creek, officials identified the Oak Creek police officer who was shot when he responded to the temple as Lt. Brian Murphy, 51, an experienced member of the department's tactical unit.
Murphy was a finalist for the Oak Creek police chief post in 2010.
Satwant Singh Kaleka, the temple president, was killed Sunday after attempting to tackle the gunman. Kaleka's brother-in-law, Deepir Singh Dhaliwal, identified the other victims Monday as: Sita Singh and Ranjit Singh, who are brothers; Subage Singh, Parmjit Kaur and Parkash Singh.
Group says it has tracked Page for years
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that has studied hate crimes for decades, reported Monday that Page was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band known as End Apathy.
Heidi Beirich, director of the center's intelligence project, said her group had been tracking Page since 2000, when he tried to purchase goods from the National Alliance, a well-known hate group.
The National Alliance was led by William Pierce, who was the author of "The Turner Diaries." The book depicts a violent revolution in the United States leading to an overthrow of the federal government and, ultimately, a race war. Parts of the book were found in Timothy McVeigh's getaway car after the bombing of the federal building Oklahoma City in 1995.
Beirich said there was "no question" Page was an ardent follower and believer in the white supremacist movement. She said her center had evidence that he attended "hate events" around the country.
"He was involved in the scene," she said.
Pierce is dead, and Beirich said the National Alliance is no longer considered to be an influential group.
Also on Monday, a volunteer human-rights group called Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.) found links between Page, his band and a white supremacist website called Stormfront.
Jeffrey Imm, who heads R.E.A.L., said in an interview Monday that someone based in Milwaukee using the name "End Apathy" began posting on the website in February 2008. Additionally, appearances by Page's band were promoted on the Stormfront site, including a white supremacist gathering in March 2012 in Richmond, Va.
Here is a screen capture of the "End Apathy" post. And here is a post on Stormfront promoting the band's appearance.
Santelle, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, said he believed Page left the Army under a general discharge, but wasn't sure what that indicated about his service.
Officials at the Army's national records center in St. Louis said the FBI took Page's military records Sunday night.
Wade has ties to Colorado and North Carolina, Santelle said, but investigators are not certain what brought him to the Milwaukee area.
It's unclear how long he was in Wisconsin before he began renting a duplex in the 3700 block of E. Holmes Ave. in Cudahy starting in July.
Santelle said he didn't believe Wade had a criminal record. He added that investigators are still tracing the history of the 9 mm handgun Wade used. But Santelle said that he thought it had been purchased legally in Wisconsin.
Page gunned down six worshippers at the temple and shot and injured an Oak Creek police officer who was helping a victim before a second Oak Creek officer shot and killed Page.
Three people, including the officer, were injured in the shooting.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said the officer, Murphy, was shot eight or nine times, at least once in the neck. He is in critical condition, but officials have said they expect him to survive.
The gun used in the temple shooting has been traced by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Tom Ahern, spokesman for the agency. Under an urgent trace request, the ATF has determined the original buyer of the weapon. Ahern said it is up to Oak Creek police to release information on the gun purchase.
Law enforcement officials have been investigating the Cudahy duplex where Page lived. The block on E. Holmes Ave. was cordoned off for a time Sunday night as officials investigated inside, and residents were evacuated from their homes.
The officers came out of the duplex around midnight, carrying large items.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said investigators carefully searched the house because they were concerned it might be booby-trapped.
At the Monday news conference, FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said investigators were able to make safe entry to the gunman's Cudahy residence. She provided no details of what they found.
She said there was no indication the suspect was capable of such violence.
SOURCE and Read More:
- John Diedrich, Don Walker, Mike Johnson and Erin Richards of the Journal Sentinel, FBI: Seeking second “person of interest” in Oak Creek Sikh Temple shooting, jsonline.com
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Category: Temple Security (Hindu and Sikh)