NEW YORK - At least seven people, including a gunman, were killed Sunday in a Sikh temple shooting in the US State of Wisconsin, according to the media reports.
Several people including a police officer who had responded to the shooting were injured, the reports said.
The authorities described the scene at the temple as chaotic as they attended to the victims and tried to sort out what had happened, The New York Times reported on its web site. The shootings occurred at about 10:30am (7:30 PM PST) at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the town of Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee, officials said.
It was also not clear whether more than one shooter was involved. Bradley Wentlandt, the chief of police in nearby Greenfield, told journalists on the scene that a police officer had exchanged fire with a shooter.
“That officer was shot multiple times,” Wentlandt was quoted as saying by the Times. “The shooter was put down.” He said the injured officer was taken to the hospital and expected to survive. He did not disclose the condition of the shooter. “We don’t know if there are additional shooters inside the temple,” he said. “The situation is very fluid. Tactical operations are ongoing.”
At least three men - all with gunshot wounds - have been admitted to Froedert Hospital, said Nalissa Wienke, a spokeswoman for the hospital.
One victim had been shot in the head and extremities and another in the abdomen. The third was undergoing evaluation.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reported that victims were being removed from the temple’s prayer room and that SWAT team members were sweeping the building. The newspaper reported that the temple’s president, Satwant Kaleka, was among those shot. There were conflicting reports about whether another gunman had taken hostages inside the temple. Local news agencies, citing text messages from people inside have reported that two or more shooters could have been involved. The shooting comes just over two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people and wounded nearly 60 in a mass shooting at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.
The officer was sent to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee, after an emergency call. He killed his attacker despite being shot “multiple times,” and is expected to survive, Wentlandt said.
Some people are believed to be trapped inside, and at least one gunman may still be inside, Dan Jakubczyk, an official, told CNN. “As far as I know, it is still an active situation,” Jakubczyk said.
Carolyn Bellin, a spokeswoman for Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital, said one of three men brought there from the incident was in surgery early Sunday morning, while another was in the surgical intensive care unit. The third was being evaluated in the emergency room. All three were in critical condition.
Kathy Moran, a nursing supervisor at Columbia St. Mary’s hospital in Milwaukee, told CNN that early reports suggested between eight to 20 people had been wounded.
Gurcharan Grewal, president of the Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin, told CNN that he has heard from multiple people that there were wounded victims still inside the temple and that there may have been multiple perpetrators. Police have sealed off the entire area, he said.
Grewal spoke to CNN from another Sikh temple about 20 miles away, where he said police were on the scene was well.
“We are really vigilant. We are really concerned,” he said.
The temple has a congregation of 250 to 400, according to its website.
“I just want to say this temple was built a number of years ago and there have never been any problems with this temple,” Jakubczyk said. “They’ve been a plus to this city and to my district.”
One of the temple’s committee members, Ven Boba Ri, said that based on communication with people inside the temple, the shooter was a white male in his 30s.
“We have no idea,” he said of the motive. “It’s pretty much a hate crime. It’s not an insider.”


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