Oak Creek, Wisconsin, reported site of nation's latest mass shooting

Sketchy early bulletins in Milwaukee news media this morning suggest Wisconsin residents can stop thinking about the murderous insanity in Aurora, Colorado and start thinking about gun mayhem closer to home.

A Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, a southern suburb of Milwaukee, apparently was the site of a mass shooting mid-morning Sunday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported online that 8 to 20 people were injured in the shooting at the temple, 7512 S. Howell Ave. WTMJ-TV News reported late in the morning that at least two of the shooting vicitms had died. Later, journalists reported seeing four covered bodies laid outside the temple, watched over by police. Oak Creek Police and Milwaukee County sheriff's deputies were on the scene.

WTMJ said an Oak Creek police officer responding to the incident was wounded. A balding white male burst into the temple and began shooting. WTMJ said it was told he had at least two weapons. A "massive man hunt" is underway for the suspect, who reportedly fled into nearby woods. A medical helicopter was lifting victims to a nearby hospital. Witnesses said children were among those inside the temple.

We won't update this story here; check your professional news sources for later details, which are likely to change. A couple of observations:

If memory serves, the last mass shooting in metro Milwaukee was in 2005, and it involved another religious site, in suburban Brookfield. See:

So places of worship aren't inviolable sanctuaries like they were in the violent Middle Ages. But, hey, when all citizens carry concealed guns and start shooting back, these kinds of tragedies will be nipped in the bud, right? No.

Sikhism is a centuries-old religion, fifth most followed in the world, with sizable populations in India. It stresses self control over vices and, according to Wikipedia, the "courage to defend the rights of all who are wrongfully oppressed or persecuted irrespective of religion, colour, caste or creed."

From the "possible motive" department, this from the Associated Press:

Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the U.S. since 9/11, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment. Sikhs don't practice the same religion as Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.

Published

August 5, 2012 - 12:06pm

Author

randomness