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Sikh Temple Shooting Suspect Named; Motivation Unknown

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
August 6, 2012

The latest developments related to Sunday’s shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in which six people were killed and three injured before, authorities say, the gunman was killed by police:

– Update at 8:35 a.m. ET. Suspect Was Reduced In Rank Before Army Discharge, Sources Say:

NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman reports that his sources tell him that Wade Michael Page (the name, according to law enforcement sources, of the man police say was the gunman) was:

– Born on Nov. 11, 1971. That means he was 40 years old.

– Served in the U.S. Army from April 1992 to October 1998.

– Rose in rank to sergeant, but was reduced to the rank of specialist at some point before receiving a general discharge. Tom adds that a general discharge, unlike an honorary discharge, means the individual had been “performing satisfactorily but did not meet all the expectations of service.” And reductions in rank, Tom says, usually related to conduct rather than performance.

– Update at 8:15 a.m. ET. Sources Name The Suspect:

The gunman was named Wade Michael Page, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation tells NPR’s Dina Temple-Raston. That’s the same name that CNN reported earlier, citing “multiple law enforcement officials.”

Dina’s source also says Page was 40 and had served in the U.S. military.

Our original post:

Authorities were searching the apartment of the man suspected of gunning down six congregants and wounding three others at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb over the weekend, but were releasing few details of the alleged assailant.

The suspect was described by federal officials as a white man in his 40s, according to The Associated Press. Authorities say he was killed in a shootout with police during Sunday’s attack at the temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Officials have so far declined to name him or speculate on a motive other than to say they were treating the crime as a possible act of domestic terrorism.

The AP said federal agents and the county sheriff’s bomb squad had swarmed a neighborhood in the Cudahy suburb of Milwaukee where the suspect lived in an apartment. The news agency quoted Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent Tom Ahern as saying warrants were being served at the home.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted landlord Kurt Weins as saying the man was an Army veteran. Weins told the newspaper that the man had “checked out” before renting the duplex and that he believed his tenant was from Chicago and had no record of violence in Wisconsin.

Weins said the man was something of a loner and that there was nothing suspicious in his behavior during the brief period he knew him.

The Journal Sentinel quoted a neighbor, Jenny Czarnecki, who said the man had lived in an apartment with his girlfriend but had moved across the street when the couple broke up in recent weeks.

Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said police expected to release more information today and that the FBI is leading the investigation because shootings are being treated as domestic terrorism, according to the AP.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, expressed sadness that the temple was a target of violence.

“That this senseless act of violence should be targeted at a place of religious worship is particularly painful,” he said in a statement Monday. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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