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FBI: Page Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot

FBI: Page Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot FBI via Getty Images

Police had said an officer shot him dead.

Having previously maintained that the Wisconsin Sikh temple gunman was shot dead by police, the FBI is now claiming that suspect Wade Michael Page died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the head after he was hit by police. In a news conference Wednesday morning, FBI Special Agent Teresa Carlson told reporters that video footage showed Page shooting himself in the head after a police officer shot him in the stomach. She said that investigators have not yet “clearly defined a motive” for the Sunday shooting at the Sikh temple that left six worshippers dead, but agents have conducted more than 100 interviews nationwide, speaking with family, associates, and neighbors of Page. She also said 180 grand jury subpoenas have been issued. 

Read it at CBS News

Latest Updates

Researchers and analysts who’ve studied the ties between military service and right-wing extremism weren’t surprised by Wade Michael Page’s attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Jesse Ellison reports.

New Saxon calls itself a “social networking site for people of European descent”; others have called it Facebook for neo-Nazis. It claims to host 8,436 blogs. There are at least four separate groups intended for current or former members of the U.S. armed forces. On one user’s profile, a list of “dislikes” begins with: “hajis, (aka sand niggers, durkas, arabs.... sure they have many names dirty fuckers.)” His “hobbies” section concludes: “Also working on my fitness/health, as any good WHITE male it is my duty to be ready when the time comes. Luckly I started off a Infantry Marine.”

white-supremacists-ellison

Members of the white power, The American National Socialist Movement, at a 2010 protest. (Gabriel Bouys, AFP / Getty Images)

After last week’s mass shooting at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., those words seem even more chilling. The shooter, Wade Michael Page, was a “frustrated neo-Nazi,” turned cold-blooded killer of six, the perpetrator of what the FBI declared was an act of “domestic terrorism.” He was also a veteran of the U.S. Army.

In the days that followed, some of those who had been stationed at Ft. Bragg with Page in the mid 1990s came forward to say that even then he had openly espoused his allegiance to the white-power movement, and that if anything, his time in the military had made him more deeply committed to the cause.

In response to the massacre of Sikhs in Wisconsin, one young Sikh-American shares his story about the hatred and love he has experienced because of his appearance. By Simran Jeet Singh.

This past Sunday, the massacre of Sikhs in Wisconsin captured the attention of our nation. As a Sikh-American, I received messages from my from my family, friends, and colleagues, each of whom expressed their disbelief and outrage. Strangers stopped me on the street to offer their support and sympathies. My neighbors brought flowers and hugs.

Sikh Temple Shooting

M. Spencer Green / AP Photo

I flashed back to my childhood in South Texas.

Recess had just ended, and I walked back inside laughing with my second-grade classmates, overjoyed by our win on the basketball courts. I broke off from my friends to use the bathroom before class started. As I walked down the dimly lit hall of our elementary school, a group of fifth graders walked around the corner and blocked me from entering the boys’ bathroom. They made fun of my long hair and pushed me into the girls’ bathroom. They told me not to come back until I had short hair like them. 

Clear and Present Danger

Domestic Terror: Alive and Well

Mass shootings like Oak Creek, Wis., show it’s time to dust off a Homeland Security report that found extremist groups are growing and may recruit people with military training. The killings argue for the department’s domestic antiterrorism unit to be reorganized.

The mass killing of six innocent worshippers at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., is a loud wakeup call to government leaders to rethink and reorganize a domestic antiterrorism unit that was discredited, defunded, and largely disbanded after it wound up in a political firestorm in 2009.

Sikh Temple Shooting

A man speaks with a police officer with television equipment in the background outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. (Jeffrey Phelps / AP Photo)

Beefing up the unit—and taking seriously its detailed and urgent warning about a rising threat of domestic terrorism—should be a matter that political figures of every persuasion can agree on. Even in a capital wracked by partisan fighting, this should be low-hanging fruit.

It might even save lives.

Chilling

Page Wanted ‘Racial Holy War’

Page Wanted ‘Racial Holy War’ M. Spencer Green / AP Phoro

May have been involved in white supremacist movement.

New details have emerged regarding Wade Michael Page’s life before the shooting at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. In the Army, Page rose to the rank of sergeant before losing a stripe due to “patterns of misconduct.” Christopher Robillard, who described Page as his “closest friend” in the service, recalled that Page would often talk about a “racial holy war.” Robillard said, “He would talk about the racial holy war, like he wanted it to come." After being discharged from the Army, Page moved to Denver where he joined a “racist band.” The FBI said that Page may also have been involved with the white supremacist movement, but that has not yet been confirmed.

Read it at CNN

Gun Control

Page, Holmes Used Semiautomatic Handgun

Page, Holmes Used Semiautomatic Handgun Karen Bleier, AFP / Getty Images



Same type of weapon in mass shootings.

Wisconsin shooter Wade Michael Page used a Springfield 9mm semiautomatic handgun during the attack on a Sikh temple. The gun had been purchased legally at a gun shop in the Milwaukee area. Before moving to Wisconsin, Page had been issued five separate gun purchase permits in North Carolina after passing a background check in May 2008. Semiautomatic handguns are frequently used by mass shooters. It turns out that suspected shooter James Holmes in Aurora, Colo., Jared Loughner in Tucson, Ariz., and Seung-Hui Cho at Virginia Tech all used similar semiautomatic handguns with high-capacity magazines. One gun expert said, “There is no valid reason for civilians to have assault rifles, semiautomatic handguns, and high-capacity magazines.”

Read it at Reuters 


Terrorism

Echoes of 9/11 in Wisconsin

A 51-year-old lieutenant and a 65-year-old immigrant show the spirit New Yorkers displayed when the towers were struck, writes Michael Daly.

When the report of shots fired at the Sikh temple came over the radio at 10:25 a.m. Sunday morning, Lt. Brian Murphy of the police department in suburban Oak Creek, Wis., raced toward danger, just as he would have if he had stayed in his native New York and joined his brother in the NYPD.

Brian Murphy, Officer shot in Sikh Temple Shooting

Brian Murphy, a 21-year veteran with the Oak Creek Police Department, was one of the first officers to respond to the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday. The gunman shot Murphy eight or nine times at close range, but Murphy is expected to survive. (AP Photo)

As the 51-year-old lieutenant approached the temple, a 65-year-old immigrant who had come to Oak Creek from faraway Punjab in India was matching his courage inside it. Good was once again rising up to meet evil, as it had on Sept. 11 and more recently during the movie theater massacre in Colorado, when at least three people died shielding loved ones with their bodies and a Navy vet seems to have charged unarmed at the killer.

All Murphy knew when he arrived outside the temple was that he saw a gunshot victim lying in the parking lot. He stepped from his police car, putting aside his own safety.

White Noise

The Creepy ‘Hate Music’ Scene

Wade Michael Page

Wade Michael Page, left, was a member of End Apathy, a white-supremacist band. (Myspace.com)

Before he killed six at a Sikh temple, Wade Page was immersed in the shady culture of ‘hate music.’ Chris Lee on the racist rockers who jam at a ‘weird bar in rural Georgia.’

As founding member and bass player for the amateurish groups End Apathy and Definite Hate, Wade Michael Page, the suspected gunman in Sunday’s shooting at a Milwaukee Sikh temple, made little mystery of his association with the so-called hate music scene. Exhibit A of the genre’s disturbing nature: on a hand-drawn cover for Definite Hate’s album Violent Victory, a Caucasian man’s fist, decorated with racist tattoos, is shown making contact with a black man’s face, causing blood to spray from his mouth and dislodging one eye.

In the aftermath of the killing spree, the volume has been turned up on the music scene that appears to have fostered Page’s beliefs, a shadowy corner of the punk-rock universe—also known as white-power music, hatecore, or hate rock—that has existed in semi-obscurity since the ‘80s. The genre promotes a kind of racial apartheid and appeals to a tiny but rage-prone audience that often, in turn, fights viciously within its own community. According to the Anti-Defamation League, hate music stands as “one of the most significant ways neo-Nazis attempt to attract young people into their movement."

The suspected shooter reportedly performed at white power and neo-Nazi skinhead festivals such as 2010’s Independent Artist Uprise Fest in Baltimore and Georgia’s Hammerfest, one of the largest hatecore-skewing festivals in America. Heidi Beirich, Intelligence Project Director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, described the event as “like the Lollapalooza or the Ozzfest of hate.”

“Hammerfest was held for many years at a weird bar in rural Georgia,” she said. “They’d put up a bunch of swastikas, bands would perform and the mosh pit would get very violent.”

New Clues

Suspect’s White-Power Past

Alleged temple shooter Wade Michael Page joined a skinhead group in 2011 and played in bands with violent lyrics. Eliza Shapiro on why he’s been on the Anti-Defamation League’s radar.

Wade Michael Pagethe alleged gunman in Sunday’s mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc., has been tracked by the Southern Law Poverty Center since 2000 and the Anti-Defamation League since 2010 for his involvement in white-supremacist groups, most recently the Hammerskins. ADL’s director of investigative research, Mark Pitcavage, told The Daily Beast that Page has been an official member of the racist hardcore skinhead group since late 2011, a group Pitcavage called “the big dogs of the white-supremacist movement.”

End Apathy

The alleged gunman, Wade Michael Page, in a fatal shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was a member of the band End Apathy, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identified as a White-power band. Page appears on the far right in this photo from the band's Myspace page. (Myspace.com)

Page, who was killed by police officers responding to frantic 911 calls at the gurdwara just south of Milwaukee, is the suspect in a massacre that left six Sikh worshippers between the ages of 39 and 84 dead.

Early reports of Page’s possible ties to white-supremacist groups were revealed yesterday when local law enforcement said the suspect, who was identified early this morning, had many colorful tattoos with various white power symbols. That suspicion was confirmed today when interviews and pictures of Page’s white-power bands surfaced online via Label 56, a record label Pitcavage said is part of the Hammerskin movement. Label 56’s website advertises the company as “independent music for independent minds.” The label issued a press release Monday afternoon expressing condolences for the victims and their families. “Do not take what Wade did as honorable or respectable and please do not think we are all like that,” the statement read. Label 56 has since removed all advertising and merchandise for Page’s band, End Apathy, from its website.

Warning Signs

Sikhs On Alert Before Shooting

Satwant Singh Kaleka, the president of the Sikh temple who was killed in Sunday’s massacre, had been worried by what he feared were a string of anti-Sikh crimes. Matt DeLuca reports.

On July 3, 2011, a crowd of about 50 teenagers looted a BP gas station in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood, in what the city’s police chief described as a “mob-like” incident.

Sikhs

Members of the Milwaukee-area Sikh community gathered in Oak Creek, Wis., on Monday to learn more about the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday that left six dead. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

The station was owned by Jay Walia, a Sikh businessman. The crime unnerved the Sikh community in Oak Creek, a Milwaukee suburb where Sikhs say they have experienced a string of recent robberies and other crimes over the past couple of years.  

In the mob-attack aftermath, Satwant Singh Kaleka, president of the 400-member Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, called for action. Kaleka had himself reported being the victim of a robbery at his own gas station shortly before the July 3 attack, Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm said, and he was worried that the community wasn’t properly protected. So he called Chisholm and state representative Josh Zepnick and asked them to come talk to his congregation.

Cheat Sheet

A Dummy’s Guide to Sikhism

Sunday’s tragic shooting has brought attention to a religious group often misunderstood. From its origins in India to why followers wear turbans, a brief primer on the faith.

The tragic temple shooting in Wisconsin has brought the usually low-profile religion of Sikhism into the spotlight. With over 300,000 Sikhs living in The United States, by some estimates, and over 25 million followers worldwide, it bears clarification—just what exactly do Sikhs believe? Here’s a simple cheat sheet for the world’s 5th-largest religion.

First off, how do you pronounce the word Sikh?

While pronouncing the word as “seek” is quite common—and listed as correct in sources like Dictionary.com—the more accurate pronunciation is to use the same vowel sound as “seek,” but both the letters “k” and “h” pronounced, as in Mikhail Gorbachev. The word Sikh means “disciple” in Punjabi.

Is Sikhism an ancient religion?

You've Got to Be Carefully Taught

Wade Michael Page and the Good Ol' Stars and Bars

Mediaite posts some photos of the man it identifies as Wade Michael Page, the Sikh temple gunman, in his rock band's rehearsal space. There's one in front of a German eagle design that was used by the Nazis, one in front of a large, traditional swastika flag, and one of him in front of the flag of the Confederate States of America.

Seeing as how he's not Southern, the Stars and Bars aren't exactly part of his heritage. But I thought the people who supported continuing to hoist the standard above certain state capitol buildings say that that's all the flag is, a symbol of heritage. Huh. How do we square this? You don't suppose the Confederate flag appeals inherently to racists, do you?

Dave Weigel has some stuff on Page's white-power bands. Page was in one band called Youngland, one of whose songs features the lyric: “Stand one stand all, stand up, stand proud/and raise the white man’s flag.”

What a creepy subculture. Rock music, of course, or rock'n'roll more accurately, is what brought the black and white races together in the first place--the "colored" kids in the segregated balcony rushing down to the orchestra during Little Richard shows and all that. It's kind of hard for me to imagine that anyone that sick with hate could even learn to play an instrument, because learning to play an instrument is an act of love. But judging by the lyrics, he's as a bad a musician as he is a human being. Not that I mean to make light of this, obviously. It's the sort of thing that makes one very, very sad about the world, and although there is (as far as we know) no mainstream political culpability here, there does appear to be a strain of American heritage he has drawn on for his world view, and it's the one that's usually at play in these cases.

OAK CREEK

Suspect Was in White Power Band

Suspect Was in White Power Band Scott Olson / Getty Images

Reports Southern Poverty Law Center.

Wade Michael Page, the alleged shooter of seven people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin on Sunday, was the leader of the neo-Nazi music group End Apathy, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. “The inspiration was based on frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole,” Page said in a 2010 interview with Label 56, which the SPLC identified as a “white-supremacist website.” Page said he wanted to “figure out how to end people’s apathetic ways.” Page had been involved in white-power music since 2000, he said in the interview.

Read it at Southern Poverty Law Center

Wisconsin Sikh Shooting

'He Wasn’t From Cudahy’

As police and the FBI investigate the massacre at a Wisconsin Sikh temple that left seven dead, residents say the alleged gunman they called ‘Rob’ lived blocks away from the site of the shootings, but was not originally from the area.

“He wasn’t from Cudahy.” That was the one unanimous verdict in this close-knit, heavily Polish industrial town on the edge of Milwaukee on Sunday night, as police searched the residence of the apparent gunman in the shootings at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin earlier in the day that left seven people dead, including the shooter and temple president Satwant Kaleka. As the FBI, assisted by local police, spent hours searching a house on the north side of 3700 E. Holmes Avenue, the assembled gawkers were watching what was described by some as the biggest excitement to happen in years in the town. Among the gawkers were neighbors and acquaintances of the alleged gunman—who provided new information about him.

Sikh Temple-Shooting

Jefferey Phelps / AP Photo

The alleged shooter, whom they could only identify as “Rob,” was relatively new to the neighborhood, according to 16-year-old Catarina Johnson, who lives a block away. She was confident that he didn’t come from Wisconsin, and thought he may have been from North Carolina.

This contrasts with a statement that the apparent gunman’s landlord, Kurt Weins, gave to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he thought the man had moved up from Chicago. Johnson’s mother, Jenny Czarnacki, said that until recently, he had shared an apartment with his girlfriend living on the north side of E. Holmes Avenue. Then, in the past few weeks, he broke up with the girlfriend and moved to a ground-floor apartment, also owned by Weins, directly across the street.

Tragedy

Shooting Rattles Sikhs

Sunday’s shooting at a Wisconsin temple, which left seven people dead, has shaken a vibrant community. Eliza Shapiro talks to Sikh leaders about the violence the faith has endured since 9/11.

The national Sikh community is banding together to denounce violence after an unidentified gunman, now presumed dead, opened fire at a temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, killing six people. Worshippers at the gurdwara—the name of a Sikh place of worship—had been preparing a meal in between traditional Sunday morning prayer sessions.

sikh-temple-shooting2

Jeffrey Phelps / AP Photo

At a press conference outside the temple, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said the shooting is being handled by the FBI as an act of “domestic terrorism.”

No evidence has emerged to indicate that the shooter targeted the temple because of the faith of the worshippers there, though the attack follows 11 years of violence and threats targeting the American Sikh community in the wake of September 11, 2011. Rajwant Singh, chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, a faith-based nonprofit, tells The Daily Beast that the community has been worried about hate crimes ever since. “In the back of our minds, there has always been an apprehension,” he said. “Any incident that occurs in the Middle East or any major loss of life of American troops in Iraq or Afghanistan has always created a fear that there would be some reaction. We didn’t know when or to what scale it would happen.”

India Covers Wisconsin Shooting

How is the world reacting to Sunday’s temple attack? On India’s news channel IBN-CNN, Sikh leaders discuss its impact—and whether a post-9/11 culture of violence is to blame.

A Dummy’s Guide to Sikhism

A Dummy’s Guide to Sikhism

From its origins in India to why followers wear turbans, a brief primer on the faith.

Divisive

Gun Control Debate Rages

Carolyn McCarthy’s Lonely Crusade

Carolyn McCarthy’s Lonely Crusade

She’s sought limits for gun sales and ammunition since her husband was fatally shot. By Eleanor Clift.

Precedent

Why Don’t Mass Shootings Lead to Gun Control?

Misdirect

The NRA’s Bizarre Priorities

Wisconsin Shooting