US suburb mourns Sikh temple killings

A small US community struggled to understand Tuesday how a racist former soldier with links to white supremacists acted on his hatred and shot dead six unarmed people at a suburban Sikh temple.

Wade Michael Page, 40, burst into the temple with a 9mm handgun and several clips of ammunition -- all purchased legally -- and opened fire on worshippers attending a service in Oak Creek, near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Sunday.

With the town reeling from the slaughter of innocent citizens, teddy bears and flowers surrounded a makeshift memorial of six wreaths mounted on white stakes with the names and ages of each of the shooter's victims at the temple.

Peggy Renner-Howell, 52, stood with her head bowed and her face clenched in sadness after laying white flowers at the foot of each wreath.

"I'm totally devastated by what happened here," she said. "I'm just hoping and praying the victims and the families of the victims can find some peace."

The temple shooting came just two weeks after 12 people were gunned down at a screening of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," sparking debate about US gun laws, though politicians seem loathe to act in an election year.

More details emerged Tuesday about Page, who was killed at the scene during a shootout with police.

The gunman, who had become a singer in a so-called "white power" band, seems to have drifted from job to job since leaving the army in 1998 and local media reported that he described non-whites as "dirt people."

A former army colleague recalled that Page had spoken of securing a homeland for whites.

"It didn't matter if they were black, Indian, Native American, Latin -- he hated them all," Fred Allen Lucas, who served with Page at Fort Bragg military garrison, told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

"He criticized me for my attraction to (Latina) women," said Lucas, of Bloomington, Indiana.

"He'd call me a 'race-traitor.' He said I should change my ways because I was a blond-haired, blue-eyed white guy, and I shouldn't be wasting myself."

Page served as a US military "psychological operations specialist" between April 1992 and October 1998, ending his career at the base at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, home to the US Army's airborne forces and Special Operations Command.

He was a qualified parachutist who received several good conduct awards and a National Defense Service Medal, but never won significant promotion.

The FBI, which did not have an active file on Page before the killings, have since said he is the subject of a "domestic terrorism" probe and his ties to white supremacist groups are being scrutinized.

The Indian-American community held a candlelight vigil late Monday at a temple not far from the scene of Sunday's carnage.

"We need this," Harsimran Kaur, 30, said of the service. "It's been chaos. We have suffered so much."

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group, on Monday branded Page a "frustrated neo-Nazi," and the SITE Intelligence Group said he was an active skinhead.

A former army comrade, Christopher Robillard, told CNN that Page had spoken of "racial holy war, like he wanted it to come," but added that he never thought the suspected gunman would act on his rhetoric.

Page was a member of the Hammerskins Nation, a white power group, and he "engaged in extensive online activity" and maintained user accounts on "some of the most prominent white supremacist forums," SITE said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center said the ex-soldier had recently been the leader of the three-man hardcore punk band "End Apathy."

Photographs of the band on its Myspace webpage (myspace.com/endapathyband) showed Page with a shaved head and Gothic tattoos all over his body.

Band members were shown performing in front of extremist flags, including one bearing a Nazi swastika.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Nonviolent disciplining of kids pushed

    Child rights advocates called on senators to pass and strongly endorse a law that will institutionalize positive and nonviolent methods of disciplining children.The Child Rights Network (CRN), Plan International Philippines (PIP), Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLPCD), and Lihok Pilipinas Foundation led the call for the enactment of the Positive Discipline Bill.Several Quezon City Council members led by Majority Floor Leader Jesus Manuel Suntay, Victor Ferrer …

  • Method to their madness

    [caption id="attachment_256768" align="alignright" width="212"] Illustration by Rod Cañalita[/caption] EMMANUEL PORTUGAL Country Manager for the Philippines, VMware I look after the garden. I’d like to think that I have a green thumb—no plants have died so far! The ones I like now that I planted a few months ago is the Blue Iris. Like the town in the movie, my Blue Iris shows up in the morning and only appears for one day. …

  • JGFP Summer Tour on today

    The summer tour for local junior golfers kicks off with the holding of the ICTSI-JGFP Baguio Junior Open today and tomorrow at the treacherous Baguio Country Club course in Baguio.Sixty players aged 6 to 17 years old are entered in the 36-hole tourney serving as the opening leg of the summer circuit organized by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines with the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. Foundation as main sponsor. ... …

  • PH now market ready to absorb infra bonds

    The Philippine market is now ready to absorb infrastructure bonds that will be issued by private companies amid a growing pipeline of infra-related projects under the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. President Benigno Aquino III last week said the government is still committed to spend more on the country’s infrastructure, with 16 PPP projects currently on the pipeline and nine that have already been awarded. Over the years, some of the country’s biggest infrastructure …

  • Filipinos are saving more – BSP survey

    More Filipinos have the extra cash to save for that proverbial rainy day, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Philippines (BSP). Based on a quarterly survey on consumer confidence, domestic households with savings have the means to increase family reserves and to bring up the amount to historical highs. The central bank said improved family income, a generally positive outlook on the economy, inflation and foreign exchange rates encouraged saving behavior during the first three months of 2015. …

  • AXA Philippines growing alongside its parent firm

    Philippine AXA Life Insurance Corp. is growing side by side with its parent firm, global insurance firm AXA, after posting significant growth in its total premium income amid an increasing market share in the country. A statement showed that in the Philippines, multi-billion firm AXA Group saw P18.35 billion in total premium income. The local entity of AXA, AXA Philippines is a joint venture between AXA Group and the Metrobank Group. In 2014, it saw an increase in market share to 11.6 …

  • End to traffic jam in sight? Japan to lend P4B to PHL for road projects

    The Japanese government will be providing some P4 billion to the Philippines for road projects aimed at decongesting monstrous jams in Metro Manila.Noriaki Niwa, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), said the loan will cover major interchanges to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, including flyovers, and road links.Among them are the interchanges on EDSA-Roosevelt/Congressional, EDSA-West/North, and C-5-Green Meadows and North/Mindanao Avenue. ... …

  • US won’t provide flexibility for countries interested in TPP

    Washington D.C.—The US government will not provide any flexibility for potential member countries, like the Philippines, in their bid to become part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a senior official said. Economic and Business Affairs Deputy Assistant Secretary William E. Craft, Jr., said all restrictions stated under the TPP trade deal will be maintained and have to be met by the current and future member countries. Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said that the …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options