Thousands mourn victims of temple shooting

Aug. 10, 2012 at 4:28 PM
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OAK CREEK, Wis., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Thousands of people filled a high school gymnasium Friday in Oak Creek, Wis., to mourn the deaths of six Sikhs killed by an alleged white supremacist.

"Today we mourn with you, we pray with you and we support you," Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told people who gathered to honor the victims of Sunday's massacre at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee. Walker praised the community for its response to the violence, ABC News reported.

"This week our friends and neighbors in the Sikh community have shown us that the best way to respond is with love," Walker said.

Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Paramjit Kaur, Suveg Singh and Satwant Singh Kaleka were killed Sunday when Wade Michael Page allegedly opened fire in the temple. Three other people were wounded, including a responding police officer. Page also died in the rampage.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told mourners violence against members of the Sikh community must stop.

"In the recent past, too many Sikhs have been targeted and victimized simply because of who they are, how they look and what they believe," Holder said. "This is wrong. It is unacceptable. And it will not be tolerated. We must ask necessary questions of ourselves: What kind of nation do we truly want to have?"

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Holder spoke eloquently of those who were killed, particularly temple founder Satwant Singh Kaleka. Holder said Kaleka put his own body between the killer and fellow worshipers.

"We will never know how many lives he saved last Sunday," Holder said.

Members of the temple have begun cleaning the site of the rampage, polishing the tile floor and replacing carpet in an effort to return the temple to its former condition, CNN reported.

Two members of the temple wounded by the gunman remained hospitalized, including one who is listed in critical condition. A police officer was listed in satisfactory condition.

One of Wade's friends says he regrets covering up a suicide scare by Page when they were in the U.S. Army.

Christopher Robillard said he and friends broke into Page's apartment in 1997 because they were afraid he might commit suicide over a breakup with a girlfriend, the Journal Sentinel reported. Page was found passed out drunk on the floor.

Robillard and his friends didn't report the incident, a decision Robillard said he "deeply regrets."

Jennifer Dunn, a psychiatric nurse who lived downstairs from Page, said "a gazillion red flags would have gone off" if Page had been evaluated.

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