Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Update: Sikh Temple Shooter Killed Himself

Update: August 8, 2012: The FBI announced today that review of video from the scene of the Sikh temple shooting conclusively shows that shooter, Wade Michael Page, was only wounded by police, and that he took his own life with a shot to the head. Special Agent in charge Teresa Carlson of the FBI told reporters that, “The evidence indicates that the second responding officer who shot Page in the stomach, thereby neutralizing the threat – and by the way, I’ve seen the video, it is an amazing shot. …  Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.” Investigators, though convinced that Page acted alone, are continuing to investigate because of Page’s ties to white-supremacist groups.

Wade Michael Page

Wade Michael Page

The gunman who killed 6 and injured three in the Milwaukee suburban Sikh temple shooting Sunday, before being killed by police, has been identified as Wade Michael Page, 40, an ex-Army Psy-Ops Specialist, and heavily tattooed leader of the white-power band End Apathy.

The attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis., which is being treated as an act of domestic terrorism, started around 11:25 a.m. Sunday, when police began receiving 911 calls about a gunman in the parking lot killing two people. The shooter then entered the temple, as several dozen people were preparing for Sunday worship, and opened fire killing four. According to police, one of the first officers on the scene was 20-year veteran Lt. Brian Murphy, who was tending to a victim in the parking lot and was ambushed by the gunman. Murphy was shot “eight to nine times.” Other officers ordered the shooter to drop his weapon. He responded by opening fire on those officers, and was shot to death in the melee. Officer Murphy, who was last reported in critical condition, was removed from the scene as police tried to confirm the possible presence of second shooter before entering the temple to help the wounded. Three men were wounded in the temple, all shot: one to the chest, a second to the extremities, and a third to the face and neck. They were hospitalized in critical condition. One of the wounded was Satwant Kaleka, president of the temple, who according to witnesses tried to tackle the Page as he opened fire in the temple.

According to the Army, Page was a soldier from 1992 to 1998 and, though he did not receive an honorable discharge, was discharged “under honorable conditions.” Though he did not receive a dishonorable discharge, he would have been barred him from ever entering into U.S. military service again. He was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, and later at Fort Bragg, N.C., and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct award, the National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal and Parachutist Badge. Page is described on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website as “part of the white power music scene since 2000, when he left his native Colorado on a motorcycle.” He attended white power concerts, and he played in hate rock bands: Youngland, Celtic Warrior, Radikahl, Max Resist, Intimidation One, Aggressive Force and Blue Eyed Devils. There was no mention of his having advocated violence. No motive has been established in the shootings, and no connection established with the Aurora Movie Theater Shooting, though Page reportedly did break up with his girlfriend recently.

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