By Justine Espersen
OAK CREEK, Wis. – Wade Michael Page was identified as the accused gunman who killed six people prior to a Sunday morning service at a suburban Milwaukee Sikh temple, officials said in a news conference Monday.
The 40-year-old Army veteran and former white supremacist heavy metal band member was killed in a shootout with a police officer. Authorities say the attack was an act of domestic terrorism.
Page appeared to target turbaned men, temple member Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka told CNN. The shooter was described as six feet tall, light skinned, bald, with a “9-11” tattoo.
Additionally, police are seeking a “person of interest” who was seen at the site of the shooting, shortly after it stopped. The man is a white male, as pictured above. Anyone with information regarding the man, call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
“This individual showed up at the scene after the shooting, “Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said.” The man looked “suspicious” and “left the scene before anyone could ascertain what he was doing there,” witnesses said.
However, officials believe that Page was the only shooter at the Sikh Temple.
Page carried a 9mm handgun, along with magazines of ammunition and opened fire, killing six people and leaving three others critically wounded.
The victims include: Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; Prakash Singh, 39; Paramjit Kaur, 41; Suveg Singh, 84; and Temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65.
Page served in the U.S. military at Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 1992 until being discharged in 1998. Page was a Hawk missile system repairman and a psychological operations specialist, according to ABC News.
The South Poverty Law Center considered Page as a “frustrated neo-Nazi” who became the leader of a racist white-power band, “End Apathy” in 2005.
Page told a white supremacist website in a 2010 interview that his “inspiration was based on frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole.”
Details on the motive of the ex-soldier have not been given, but FBI’s special agent Teresa Carlson said today, “We are looking at ties to white supremacist groups.”
Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the nonprofit civil rights organization of Montgomery, Ala. told the Associated Press there is no research showing white supremacists hating Sikhs.
Sikhs, which originated in the Punjab region of India, can be mistaken for Muslims as they often display beards and turbans. There are about 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S. and roughly 27 million worldwide.