7 dead, including shooter, after massacre at Sikh temple in Oak Creek
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OAK CREEK - Oak Creek Police said that at least seven people are dead, including a shooter, during a massacre at and outside a Sikh temple on Sunday.
A police officer was also shot and was in surgery at Froedtert Hospital, according to Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt who was assisting Oak Creek Police.
He did not divulge the officer's condition.
Another police officer shot and killed the shooter. There was no word of any injuries that he suffered.
Chief John Edwards said Sunday that they were investigating the shootings as an incident of domestic terrorism. They believed the dead gunman was responsible, but were still searching the area.
Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News the suspected gunman had no obvious connection to domestic terror or white supremacist groups and apparently was not on any list of suspected terrorists. The suspect was in his early 40s, and while he had an arrest record, it was for minor offenses, one federal official said.
The FBI, ATF and Milwaukee Police are assisting Oak Creek Police with the investigation.
Three adult men were also being treated at Froedtert for shooting wounds. They were in critical condition, and one of them was going to undergo what reportedly was a "complicated procedure," according to a spokesman.
According to reports, one man was shot in the face and extremities, while another was shot in the stomach.
They said they were preparing for more victims in a "mass casualty incident."
The shootings happened at about 10:00 a.m. at the Sikh Temple, on the 7500 block of South Howell Avenue in Oak Creek.
A hotline has been established for family members looking for information on those involved: 1-888-298-1964.
A victims memorial fund has been set up and donations may be mailed to:
Victims Memorial Fund
Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
7512 S. Howell Ave
Police believe the shooter killed two victims outside, then went inside the temple and killed four more people.
"The emergency medical personnel, the tactical personnel who have gone through the scene, they have initially identified what they believe to be four deceased inside the temple, and three deceased outside the temple, one of whom is the shooter," said Wentlandt.
Police did not initially identify any additional gunman on scene, but did not rule out the possibility of additional shooters.
The president of the Sikh Temple, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was said to be one of the shooting victims. It was not initially known if he survived.
"An officer arrived on scene. He engaged an active shooter. The officer was shot multiple times. He has been transported to a local hospital and is expected to survive," said Wentlandt.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said that another officer shot and killed the shooter.
"It stopped a tragic event that could have been a lot worse," said Edwards.
"They went to church not knowing they might die today," said a woman who identified herself as the niece of the temple's president in an interview with Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Dan O'Donnell.
"My friend called and said 'I heard the shot, and two people falling down in the parking lot.' He saw the shooter reloading the gun again," said witness Suni Singh to O'Donnell.
There was no initial word on how many people were inside when the shooting happened. The temple holds hundreds of worshipers.
The Sikh Society of Wisconsin said they were meeting to decide how to proceed and "move forward after this tragic event. The society is headquartered in Madison. A member says the news is shocking. The society is still gathering all the information it can and will be reaching out to the Oak Creek Temple during its time of need."
"The city of Oak Creek is outraged by the senseless act of violence...our thoughts and prayers go out," said Mayor Steve Scaffidi.
Check back for more details on this breaking story as they come in to us.