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Links sought in Calif., Wis. Sikh attacks

Aug. 14, 2012 at 4:49 PM   |   Comments

ELK GROVE, Calif., Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A police detective says he hasn't ruled out a link between the Aug. 5 Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin and the 2011 slaying of two Sikhs in California.

Elk Grove, Calif., police Detective Kevin Papineau says he spends up to 20 hours a week investigating the March 4, 2011, drive-by shooting deaths of Surinder Singh, 65, and Gurmej Atwal, 78. The two grandfathers were out for an afternoon walk when they were gunned down.

With the shooter still at large, it was deemed a hate crime. Just like on Aug. 5 when Wade Michael Page opened fire on worshipers at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis.

Papineau thinks there could be a connection. "The possibility of a connection seems remote, but I haven't ruled it out," he told The Sacramento Bee.

Atwal died in the hospital six weeks after the shooting, but not before helping police put together a description of the shooter's truck.

"It has either big tires, big wheels or suspension alterations that make it significantly higher than your factory pickup truck," Papineau said.

Papineau said he has been combing through more than 150 tips and a mountain of evidence, such as video surveillance tapes, cellphone records and neighbor interviews "to find anything that would help us connect the dots to try to get somebody who knows anything to come forward."

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