Wisconsin Sikh Temple: 7 Reported Dead Including Suspect In Shootout with Police

Shooting at Wisconsin Sikh Temple

Contribution D. Chandler

At 10:30 am a phone call was received about a mass shooting in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, Wisconsin at the Sikh Temple. Seven people, including the suspected shooter, are reported dead and three are wounded, including a police officer who killed the gunman, after a shooting this morning at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee. Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said in a press conference that four people had been found dead inside the temple and three people were found dead outside the temple. Officials say three people are in critical condition at a Milwaukee hospital.

Wentlandt said that after a 10:25 a.m. call to 911, officers were sent to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, 7512 S. Howell Ave., in Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan.

“A police officer responded to the scene and when he arrived, he engaged an active shooter,” the chief said. “Gunfire was exchanged and the gunman shot the officer multiple times.”

“The suspect is down on the scene,” the chief said at 1:15 p.m. He says he has no word on the suspect’s condition.

The officer is expected to survive and was taken to an undisclosed area hospital.

Wentlandt, who is serving as the official spokesman, would not say how many injured there were and said tactical officers are searching to see if another gunman is inside or anywhere else nearby.

“They are being methodically searched,” the chief said of the the building and surrounding area. “I’m not sure if there is an additional gunman.”

Three men who were shot are in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Beth Strohbusch.

One was shot in the abdomen and another was shot in his extremities and face, Strohbusch said. The third is being evaluated in the emergency room as of 1:30 p.m.

“One is in surgical intensive care, one is in the operating room and one is in the emergency room,”’ she said. “All are in critical condition.”

Their ages were not known and Strohbusch declined to say if any of the victims are police officers, suspects or priests.

“I don’t know,” Strohbusch said when asked if they are expecting any more victims.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting  at least four people have been shot.

Sukhwindar Nagr, of Racine, says he called his brother-in-law’s phone and a priest at the temple answered. Nagr says the priest told him that his brother-in-law had been shot, along with three priests.

Nagr says the priest also said women and children were hiding in closets at the temple.

“Our office has not been asked to respond yet,” said Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office Investigator Jenni Penn at 12:40 p.m.

“I haven’t heard anything from an official,” said Penn, who did not know  anything about injuries at the temple.

A man who answered the phone at the Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin in Brookfield, about 24 miles northwest of Oak Creek, said he did not know how many people were hurt and had not been on the scene.

“It’s a heavy day,” he said, adding that police in tactical gear set up a perimeter around their temple, 3675 N. Calhoun Rd.

“It’s to make sure nothing happens in our temple,” hsaid the man, who declined to be identified.

The worker said the police are checking inside cars and for any suspicious activity. No one has been injured at his temple, he said early this afternoon.

The Guardian has learned the Sikh religion is based in northern India, and one church member says the religion has a Milwaukee-area population of around 1,000. The religion has a population in India of 2.5 million.

President Obama has been notified.

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