Gunman in Sikh Temple Attack Was White Supremacist
Sunday, August 05, 2012
A 40-year-old Army veteran, identified by a civil rights group as the one-time leader of a white supremacist band, was the gunman who killed six people inside a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, officials said Monday.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards released details of the victims of the Sunday shooting and said the suspected gunman, Wade Michael Page, was a lone wolf who joined the Army in 1992 and was discharged in 1998.
The six killed in the fusillade ranged in age from 39- to 84-years old. Edwards said those killed included a 41-year-old woman and five men. The gunman was later killed by police.
Edwards said two other men wounded in the shootings remain hospitalized in critical condition.
Police officer Lt. Brian Murphy, 51, the first to arrive on the scene, was ambushed by the gunman and shot eight or nine times as he tended to a victim outside the temple, authorities said.
He also remains in critical condition.
Meanwhile, activist groups describe Page as a "frustrated neo-Nazi" who led a racist white supremacist band, the Southern Poverty Law Center said Monday.
Page told a white supremacist website in an interview in 2010 that he had been part of the white-power music scene since 2000 when he left his native Colorado and the started the band, End Apathy, in 2005, the nonprofit civil rights organization said.
He told the website his "inspiration was based on frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole," according to the SPLC. He did not mention violence in the website interview.
Page joined the military in Milwaukee in 1992 and was a repairman for the Hawk missile system before switching jobs to become one of the Army's psychological operations specialists, according to the defense official.
So-called "Psy-Ops" specialists are responsible for the analysis, development and distribution of intelligence used for information and psychological effect; they research and analyze methods of influencing foreign populations.
Fort Bragg, N.C., was among bases where Page served.
Joseph Rackley of Nashville, N.C. told the AP on Monday that Page lived with his son for about six months last year in a house on
Rackley's three acres of property. Wade was bald and had tattoos all over his arms, Rackley said, but he doesn't remember what they depicted. He said he wasn't aware of any ties Page may have had to white supremacists.
"I'm not a nosy kind of guy," Rackley said. "When he stayed with my son, I don't even know if Wade played music. But my son plays alternative music and periodically I'd have to call them because I could hear more than I wanted to hear."