M A I N   N E W S

FBI probes motive of ‘white’ shooter
Obama says he is ‘heartbroken’
Ashish Kumar Sen in Washington

US President Barack Obama said Americans would “recoil” if the shootings at a gurdwara in Wisconsin on Sunday were “motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending the temple.” Obama said he was “heartbroken” by the deadly shooting.

On Sunday, as worshippers were gathering at the gurdwara in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Tree, a balding, tattooed white male, identified as Michael Page, went on a shooting spree killing six persons and wounding four others, including a police officer who was helping a victim.

Obama’s remarks came as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began looking into Page’s links to white supremacist groups with a history of hate towards the Jews and blacks.

It has now emerged that former US army psychological operations specialist Wage Michael Page had ‘neo-Nazi’ leanings. The FBI intensified its probe to ascertain the motive behind the killing.

“We don’t yet know fully what motivated this individual to carry out this terrible act. If it turns out, as some early reports indicated, that it may have been motivated in some way by the ethnicity of those who were attending

“It will be very important for us to reaffirm that in this country, regardless of what we look like, where we come from, who we worship — we are all one people and we look after one another and we respect one another,” he said.

Law enforcement authorities have identified the gunman as Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old US Army veteran. Page served in the Army from April 1992 to October 1998.

Details of the heroism of one of Page’s victims, Satwant Singh Kaleka, emerged soon after the shooting. Kaleka, who was the president of the gurdwara, found a butter knife which he used to stab Page twice before being shot twice. Amardeep Singh Kaleka was quoted as saying in US media reports that FBI agents hugged him, shook his hand and told him his father was a hero. “Whatever time he spent in that struggle gave the women time to get cover” in the kitchen, Amardeep said.

The Southern Law Poverty Center, which tracks hate crimes, described Page as “a frustrated neo-Nazi” and law enforcement officials said they were investigating his ties to white supremacist groups. It said he was a member of two racist skinhead bands, End Apathy and Definite Hate. Page lived in North Carolina for part of the last decade.

The Fayetteville Observer in North Carolina reported that he worked at a Harley-Davidson dealership, but was fired after a string of clashes, including one that involved an angry outburst from Page over taking orders from a female co-worker. The newspaper quoted the Fayetteville dealership’s general manager, John Tew, as saying that, after Page was fired, he found an application to join the white supremacist group, Ku Klux Klan, on Page’s desk. “I threw that in the trash can,” Tew was quoted as saying: “He came back looking for it. And I told him I discarded that. He got all chapped again.”

The hero who saved many

The 65-year-old head of the small US town gurdwara, Sadwant Singh Kaleka, turned out an unlikely hero of the Wisconsin shooting incident as he confronted the gunman with his kirpan to save dozens of women, children and other worshippers.

US mosque gutted

A day after the tragic shooting incident at a gurdwara, a mosque in the US was burned to the ground in a suspected arson attack. — PTI

US flag to fly at half mast

To honour victims of the gurdwara shootout, Obama has ordered that the US flags be flown at half mast at all the government buildings and its diplomatic missions overseas till August 10. — PTI





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