Skip to main content

Remembering the victims:

Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, the temple president, killed after physically confronting the gunman. Paramjit Kaur, 41. Prakash Singh, 39. Ranjit Singh, 49. Sita Singh, 41. Suveg Singh, 84.

Wounded: Lt. Brian Murphy, 51, a member of the police department since he was 30.

If you would like to make a donation in honor of the victims:

Online: http://wearesikhs.com/

Postal address:
Victims Memorial Fund
Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
7512 South Howell Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53154

First, I'll give fair warning. It's the time in the news cycle for a lot of attention on who the shooter was, what he was involved in, all those things. I think it's important to see these things because, while we don't want to give undue attention to the shooter, we should try to understand what kind of people and groups are out there and what they are doing.

To start, though, an out of state client of mine from another area told me she saw a very touching story in her local paper, the Washington Post, about these events. So I went searching for it. I'm not sure this first link is what she was referencing but it's a pretty good story of two young heroes.

At Sikh temple shooting, 2 children helped save many lives

Amanat Singh was dancing in front of the Sikh temple here on Sunday morning, cracking up her 11-year-old brother, Abhay.

Amanat had just turned 9, and her family was responsible for preparing a birthday lunch for 300 people. The children’s parents had told the pair to stay inside the temple while they went to a store to get more paper plates.

But the temple was hot, with samosas frying and chapatis on the grill. So the children stepped outside to catch the breeze. That was when they saw the man get out of the car.

As Amanat and Abhay turned back to their play, they heard a pop. Then another. What they thought, fleetingly, might have been fireworks were actually gunshots.

One second, kids being kids. The next, kids being heroes and living through the kind of terror most of us couldn't even imagine.

One more before we get to the shooter and his life, a profile of Brian Murphy, the officer who was shot.

Cop wounded in temple shooting a skilled veteran

Unable to speak, Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy held up his hand for Chief John Edwards to hold.

He mouthed one word: "Sorry."

Edwards visited Murphy Monday night at Froedtert Hospital - a day after the 21-year Oak Creek police veteran was shot numerous times while responding to the massacre at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek.

"He was stable. He was alert. He acknowledged me. He smiled, brought up his hand, (he) wanted me to grab his hand. Kind of mouthed to me he was sorry," said an emotional Edwards.

Now, on to the shooter's life (his girlfriend, "white power" music, white supremacist groups)...

Gunman's ex-girlfriend tied to white-power group

South Milwaukee Police removed a gun from the home Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page had shared with his former girlfriend, Misty M. Cook, 31, who cannot legally own a gun because she has a previous felony conviction, according to officials and court records.

The woman also has associated with a group, Volksfront, which anti-hate groups consider a racist Neo-Nazi organization, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Page and Cook broke up in June, according to neighbors in a duplex on the 1400 block of Marquette Ave., where Cook still lives.

Neither the authorities nor ADL allege Cook knew of or was involved in the temple shooting.

Sikh shooting draws attention to white power music
With a shaved head and tattoos, Page played guitar and sang for a number of white power bands with names like End Apathy and Definite Hate, espousing views on albums such as "Violent Victory" and encouraging others to act through his Internet postings.

"Violence is part of this culture," said Robert Futrell, professor of sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and co-author of "American Swastika: Inside the White Power Movement's Hidden Spaces of Hate."

Called "hate music" by detractors and "independent music" by advocates, it provides an outlet for white supremacists, some of whom openly preach violence against minorities while others offer more subtle messages of angst and alienation found in many forms of music.

Finally, a story of a former white supremacist in Milwaukee:

Former white supremacist haunted by a world he once knew

News of the temple shooting in Oak Creek haunted the man once known as Arno the Barbarian, the tall, former white supremacist who helped found a hate group in Milwaukee in 1987, who sang - or rather shouted - racist lyrics for the band Centurion, who stomped across a stage egging on an audience of skinheads as they gave him straight-armed Nazi salutes.

Arno Michaelis, now 41 and working on the other side for a group called Life After Hate, knew the white power world of steel-toed boots and swastika jackets that had nurtured and fed the Oak Creek shooter Wade Michael Page.

Also, about the music:
"There is a whole underworld of these white supremacist bands that is virtually unknown to the general public. But it's probably the single most important source of financing for the movement and probably the best source of recruiting," said Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center. "The music is incredibly important in terms of bringing young people into the movement."

8:30 AM PT: The FBI reported this morning the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after being shot in the stomach by the police officer.

Originally posted to RHinWI on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 06:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Progressive Hippie.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  tks for staying on this story (15+ / 0-)

    The account you link to, of the two children warning people inside, is moving. A little more, to whet the appetite:

    The children ran inside, crying out warnings. “They are both, brother and sister, heroes,” said Baljit Singh, whose wife, Jaspal, was in the kitchen and heeded the warning. He estimated that the children were able to warn more than a dozen people. Abhay, 11, said that in the pantry, he and his sister were packed in with more than a dozen people. They shut the door, which had no lock, and stayed silent, the quarters so tight that Abhay could not reach his hands toward the ceiling. The children said that as they hid, they could hear bullets crashing into metal. Containers of food falling. Amanat, 9, used someone’s cellphone to try to send her mother a text message, telling her to stay away from the temple, to tell her not to come back. [But the mother was already] frantic and weeping outside.
  •  Someone should tell these "whites" that (5+ / 0-)

    it's white people who are stealing all the money.

    BTW most Sikhs take the name Singh, which means lion. all the Sikhs I've known were Singhs.

    We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

    by PowWowPollock on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 06:56:19 AM PDT

  •  Please (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyK, Catte Nappe, greengemini, RHinWI, poco

    Can we call it a gurudwara (or gurdwara depending on transliteration) and not a "temple".

    I realise that many Sikh communities in the U.S.A.  extend the courtesy of using the other term to help their neighbors but I think it is as discourteous and as simply wrong as calling a synagog or mosque a "church" to ignore the proper name.

    Continuing on a TV near you; "The Magical Mitt Sorry Tour (Underpants Edit)"

    by Lib Dem FoP on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 07:25:26 AM PDT

    •  "temple" (for gurudwara) is not offensive (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, pgm 01, RHinWI, wenchacha, poco

      My Sikh friends often say 'temple', even among themselves. E.g., "I'm going to temple, want to come?" Maybe it's nice for non-Sikhs to say gurudwara, as a sign of interest in, knowledge of, and respect for Sikhism. But I've never heard a Sikh take offence at the use of 'temple.'

      Worldwide, many Gurudwaras use 'temple' themselves in their name and/or URL. E.g.: Central Sikh Temple is the main gurudwara in Singapore. The Sikh Temple of Sacramento uses the URL http://sikhtemple.org. The Valley Sikh Temple in Canoga Park, CA uses the URL http://valleysikhtemple.org . In the UK, the Sri Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji Gurdwara, aka Middlesbrough Sikh Temple, uses the URL http://sikhtemple.co.uk . The Sikh Temple Roseville (aka Gurdwara Sri Sach Khand Sahib) in Roseville, CA uses http://sikhtemple.us . The Sikh Temple of Utah is http://sikhtempleofutah.com/ (and ‏tweets at @SikhTemple_Utah). In Sweden, Sikh Temple Gurudwara Bibi Nank Ji is at http://sikhtemple.se . The Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar, India, is more commonly known in English as the Golden Temple, per its website: http://sridarbarsahib.com/... There are 127 mentions of 'temple' on http://www.sikhs.org . Google has 9.6 million references to "sikh temple", and 11 million to "gur[u]dwara". Etc.

      Is there a reliable source anywhere who says 'temple' is discourteous? (Let alone anyone reliable who says it is like "calling a synagog[ue] or mosque a 'church' "?) I haven't come across it, if so.

      tem·ple 1  (tmpl) n.
      1. a. A building dedicated to religious ceremonies or worship.  [...]
      2. Something regarded as having within it a divine presence.
      3. A building used for meetings by any of several fraternal orders, especially the Knights Templars.
      4. A building reserved for a highly valued function: the library, a temple of learning.
      [Middle English, from Old English tempel, from Latin templum; see tem- in Indo-European roots.]
      The temple where one worships comes from Latin templum, itself derived from the Indo-European root tem-, "to cut, divide." Latin templum probably referred originally to the fact that temples were on sacred ground that was "divided" or separated from ordinary ground.
      The English word "temple" derives from Latin templum, which was originally not a building, but a sacred area marked out ritually. The word templum later came to mean the building itself.

      The etymology of the term 'gurdwara' is from the words 'Gur (ਗੁਰ)' (a reference to the Sikh Gurus) and 'Dwara (ਦੁਆਰਾ)' (gateway in Gurmukhi), together meaning 'the gateway through which the Guru could be reached'. Sikh places of worship came to be known as gurdwaras."
      "All religions have temples where people can gather together to contemplate on God and pray. The Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara." http://www.sgpc.net/...

    •  Appreciate the information (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco

      I've been going strictly by the official name they gave their place of worship, which is the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. I appreciate the information and consider it a learning experience. However, I don't consider it discourteous to refer to it with the same word as they used to officially name it.

      http://www.sikhtempleofwisconsin.com/

      Sign

  •  I don't hate many people... (5+ / 0-)

    and even fewer groups of people... but I've always hated skinheads. When I was younger and a punker it was in part, because too many people associate the two, and punkers and skins couldn't be further apart ideologically. Punkers are more about tolerance and celebrating our differences, to the point of being intentionally different. Skins are about hating those different from them. Unfortunately many times the music styles are similar, sometimes the dress is similar. A lot of punkers get tats, though they're very different from the Skin tats. Even hair styles and such can be similar.
    In the early 90's my boyfriend at the time and I accidently got invited to a skin party by a band groupie. Luckily we faked a 'page' from my parents and made up a story about my little sister being lost, and so got out of there with minimal fuss.

    Many kudos to the several heroes of this tragedy, the kids, the adult victims, those who kept their heads and hid themselves and others.. and the police officers on the scene, especially the first responder who prevented this from being much worse than it was by killing the shooter. My prayers and well wishes are with you all.

    One of my favorite songs:

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 07:26:15 AM PDT

  •  Quick update (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, Sharon Wraight, pgm 01, poco

    The FBI reported this morning the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after being shot in the stomach by the police officer.

  •  Thank you, RHinWI. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco

    I greatly appreciate these summaries.

  •  Another update - the ex-girlfriend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RHinWI, poco

    has been arrested, on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. There's additional info in  this story, which I had to copy from today's Yahoo News article because  I couldn't get a workable link:

    Police say they have arrested the former girlfriend of Wade Michael Page, the man who allegedly shot and killed six people in a Sikh temple, after authorities say they found a gun in her Milwaukee home.

    Cook was taken into custody on the grounds that she is
    prohibited from having a gun as a convicted felon, a federal law enforcement official said. Cook was convicted in 2002 for fleeing and eluding a traffic officer.

    Milwaukee police released a statement Tuesday after the arrest of Misty Cook, saying, "In a joint investigation with the FBI, the South Milwaukee Police Department has arrested Misty Cook on the crime of felon in possession of a firearm. Charges will be sought through the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office."

    There's no indication Cook was involved with the attack.

    Much like her ex-boyfriend, according to the Anti-Defamation League, Cook was involved in white supremacy. The ADL has photos of Cook wearing a T-shirt with the name of the extremist right-wing group Volksfront. The group said that Cook had not been involved since 2008.

    University of Nebraska criminology professor Pete Simi didn't comment on Cook but says he interviewed Page for a project researching white supremacists from 2001-03.
    "When he joined his first white power music band, this really changed his life," he said, adding that Page told him his neo-Nazi beliefs came after serving in the Army.
    "He [Page] saw and experienced things that angered him, convinced him whites were victimized," Simi said.
    Page drank excessively and never felt comfortable talking about his parent's divorce or his mother, who died when he was young, he added.

    Cook might be able to fill in the gaps of what transpired in the weeks and months prior to Sunday's shooting, sources said. Cook's relationship with Page fell apart in the weeks leading up to his alleged shooting spree.

    "She had put his stuff in the basement and told him if he needed anything else just to get it out of the basement, she really didn't want him around," said Bernie O'Dea, Cook's mother.

    Sharon and Terry Page, who said they are unrelated to the shooter, live below Cook. They said Cook and Wade moved in to the apartment March 1, but Wade moved out in the middle of June. After that point, according to comments Cook made to Sharon Page, Wade virtually disappeared.

    "She told us that for six weeks she hadn't heard anything of him," Page said. "That would have been about the time after he left, so she must have gotten a hold of a co-worker and said he hadn't been at work for three weeks. She said he kind of just dropped off the face of the earth."

    Sharon and Terry Page said Cook and Wade Page were quiet and "never really talked to us at all really."

    Meanwhile, in Oak Creek, Wis., thousands gathered Tuesday in an outpouring of support for victims of the Sikh temple shooting.

    In a downtown park, attendees lit candles, flew orange Sikh flags, listened to Sikh music, joined in Sikh prayer, and donned patkas, a common Sikh head covering. Speakers described the victims' lives. Onstage a group formed a sign that read, "Practice Peace."

    "What we learned, you know, about the shooter is he did stuff with music that was completely full of hate and energy that was brain-washing to himself," said Amardeep Kaleka.
    Kaleka's father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was president of the temple and among those shot and killed.

    "It's still unreal. Unbelievable. Unfathomable," said Heather Owen, who attended the  vigil with her two young children.
    "This is where I grew up. It's way too close to home."
    But she expressed confidence that the town will rally in the face of tragedy.

    "It's a tight-knit community and leaning on everybody's shoulders, that's what we do," she said.

    Among the attendees were Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Herb Kohl and Rep. Paul Ryan, who represents this district of Wisconsin.

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 04:32:51 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site