New reports about the Sikh Temple gunman released by the authorities show that he was linked with racist white supremacist bands and was discharged from the Army for “patterns of misconduct.” The gunman has been identified as Wade Michael Page who served as a soldier in the Army from 1992 to 1998, but was never posted abroad. In June 1998 he was disciplined for being drunk on duty and his rank was reduced from sergeant to specialist. Also, he was not eligible to re-enlist in the Army.
Survivors of the Milwaukee massacre described how women and children hid in the temple’s community pantry while the gunman continued his rampage.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Page was a member of two racist bands named End Apathy and Definite Hate. The SPLC also drew attention to a 2010 interview of Page on the white supremacist website Label 56, where he spoke of playing in various bands since 2000.
In recent months, Page had moved to the Cudahy suburb of Milwaukee. His neighbors say he was often seen sitting on his porch or walking in the neighborhood. FBI special agent Teresa Carlson said that Page’s family and associates were being interviewed to search for a motive behind the gruesome killings of innocent Sikhs. Five men and one woman were killed in the shooting including the president of the congregation and a priest.
However, the white supremacist agenda does not explain why Brian Murphy, the white police officer who was trying to help a victim, was shot from close range eight or nine times. Murphy 51, has been serving in the force for the last 21 years. Even while hit, Murphy waved away other officers trying to come to his aid and urged them to go into the temple and help others.
In a White House bill-signing ceremony, President Barrack Obama referred to the Sikh Temple shootings and said “All of us recognize that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity” when asked about further gun control measures.
Talking about the president of the Sikh congegration who was killed in the shooting, his son Amardeep Kaleka said his father represented the American Dream. “He came over with $100 in his pocket … he worked his behind off, 18 hours a day in some of the worst neighborhoods … He became a very successful businessman.”
And now he lies dead, killed by a man with whom he had no enmity.
The program director of the Sikh Coalition observed that Sikhs in U.S. had become “collateral damage” in a 24-hour news machine that used dark-skinned, bearded, turbaned men as visual shorthand for terrorists.