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.

  • Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel
    Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscars dress stolen from hotel

    The $150,000 pearl-studded, custom-made Calvin Klein dress worn by Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o at this year's Academy Awards has been stolen, police said on Thursday. The gown, embellished with 6,000 natural white pearls, was stolen from Nyong'o's room at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, during the day on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in West Hollywood said. "Ms Nyong'o was not in the room at the time of the theft," Deputy John Mitchell …

  • US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians
    US-led strikes on IS after group seizes 220 Christians

    The US-led coalition has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State group in northeastern Syria, where the jihadists have launched a new offensive and kidnapped 220 Assyrian Christians. The raids on Thursday struck areas around the town of Tal Tamr in Hasakeh province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, without giving information on possible casualties. The town remains under the control of Kurdish forces, but at least 10 surrounding villages have been seized by IS, along …

  • Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts
    Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. …

  • 13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital
    13 of 15 SAF survivors to leave PNP hospital

    Thirteen of the 15 Special Action Force (SAF) policemen who survived the bloody firefight with Muslim rebels in Mamasapano last month are ready to go home after a month of medical treatment, a police official said yesterday. Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the two remaining survivors will have to stay in hospital for further treatment, one of whom has shrapnel embedded near his spine. One of the two SAF commando survivors is still …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

  • Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2
    Review: SKK Mobile V2, a P3,999 watered-down LG G2

    How well does this P3,999 offering from an underdog in the local mobile industry stack up against the competition? Let's find out. …

  • U.S. flies most advanced surveillance plane from Philippines

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - The United States has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft, the P-8A Poseidon, out of the Philippines for patrols over the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday, acknowledging the flights for the first time. The United States, the Philippines' oldest and closest ally, has promised to share "real time" information on what is happening in Philippine waters as China steps up its activities in the South China Sea. China claims most of …

  • US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea
    US sends spy plane to patrol disputed sea

    The United States has deployed its newest and most advanced surveillance aircraft for patrols over the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon aircraft completed more than 180 flight hours from Feb. 1 to 21 from Clark Air Base, according to the US Navy’s 7th Fleet. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options