Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page had no apparent ties to the Milwaukee area except one: a woman who may have shared his white power beliefs.
That woman, 31-year-old Misty Cook, may be the reason Page moved to the area about nine months ago, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which has been tracking both of them for years.
The first record of Page living in the area was at an apartment he shared with Cook in the 700 block of Minnesota Ave. in South Milwaukee in November 2011.
Cook worked at a restaurant about a block away from the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek where Page shot 10 people, killing six, on Sunday. He was fatally shot by police.
Page and Cook broke up in June and she had no role in the rampage, authorities said.
After the breakup, Cook continued to live in an apartment she and Page had rented together in February in the 1400 block of Marquette Ave. in South Milwaukee. He moved to Cudahy. Authorities searched both of those places, as well as the couple's previous apartment on Minnesota Ave.
At the Marquette Ave. location, they found a gun. Cook was arrested late Tuesday on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, South Milwaukee police said. The Milwaukee County district attorney's office will review the case.
Cook cannot legally possess a gun because she has a previous felony conviction.
She was convicted in 2005 of fleeing and eluding police in Milwaukee County, according to court records. She was sentenced to 18 months' probation and served 97 days in jail.
Page had only a misdemeanor criminal record, including convictions for impaired driving and criminal damage to property. He had legally purchased the gun used in the temple shooting.
Reached via email Tuesday, Cook declined to be interviewed.
"In light of this senseless tragedy, I must respectfully decline any requests for comments," she wrote. "If I could say something to ease the pain of the victims and their families I would gladly do so. Unfortunately words do not begin to heal the pain they are going through. I ask that you please respect my privacy in dealing with this issue as it is a great struggle for me."
The investigation into the shooting continues as FBI agents question scores of people who had contact with Page, according to U.S. Attorney James Santelle.
For about 10 years before coming to Milwaukee, Page lived in North Carolina and for some of that time worked at Cape Fear Harley-Davidson. Interviewing for the job, he was a "perfect gentleman," covering up his many tattoos, according to his boss, John W. Tew. But Page later showed a volatile side when women tried to tell him what to do.
"He snapped and went crazy," Tew said. "He was the strangest guy. He had coldblooded eyes . . . cold, dark, mischievous."
As far back as 1995, while serving in the Army, he had a tattoo that made a reference to the "14 words." It refers to the phrase used by white supremacists: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." He also had a tattoo of a Celtic knot, which can stand for white power.
SOURCE and Read More:
- Dave Umhoefer and Gina Barton of the Journal Sentinel, What brought Wade Michael Page to Milwaukee?, jsonline.com
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Category: Temple Security (Hindu and Sikh)