|August 5, 2012
Source: RT News
At least seven people have been killed and twenty injured as a gunman took over a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Among the dead is the gunman, who the policebelieve was the sole assailant.
Four of those shot died inside the temple, while the three others (two victims and a gunman) were killed outside the building.
Police say they do not believe there is a second gunman at the temple, despite previous reports speculating about possible additional assailants. Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt explained that reports of multiple gunmen may be based on several police radio calls about a gunman.
Officers managed to enter the temple, and questioned people who had gathered on its basement floor. Tactical units then seached the temple, concluding that there was no second shooter.
Three adults have been hospitalized with gun wounds into their faces, police report. They are all in critical condition.
The first police officer to arrive at the scene engaged in gunfire outside the temple with the man police believe was the hostage-taker, Wentlandt stated. The suspected assailant was killed, while the police officer was wounded.
As many as a hundred people were gathered at the Brookfield Temple for a morning service. The temple was holding a special children’s service today, with a featured guest from India. Many potential victims were spared, as the temple was only partially full when the attack began, an hour before a big Sunday service was scheduled to start.
The first information from the scene came from the temple’s head priest, who was reportedly locked in a restroom with a cell phone.
The gunman has been described as white male, bald, with a stocky build.
Amid reports of multiple people having been shot inside the temple, some attendees appear to have been able to escape, though some remain inside.
Energy officials shut down the building’s gas supply as a precautionary measure, witnesses told local news, while police have cordoned off the street where the temple is located until the situation is resolved.
Journalists kept a safe distance from the area in case the shooters have access to TV or radio.
“We would plead with the media at the scene to not broadcast any photo, video of tactical units, officer movement, and particularly no aerial footage of the event as it’s ongoing,” Greenfield Police Chief Wentlandt said.
Homeland Security advisor John Brennan informed President Barack Obama of the incident, and the president was continually receiving updates on the situation, a US official told Reuters.
The temple draws worshippers from as far as Chicago, St. Louis, Missouri, and Cincinnati, Ohio.