Monday, December 11, 2017

Gunman in Sikh temple attack was white supremacist

OAK CREEK, Wis. — Before he strode into a Sikh temple with a 9 mm handgun and multiple magazines of ammunition, Wade Michael Page played in white supremacist heavy metal bands with names such as Definite Hate and End Apathy.

The bald, heavily tattooed bassist was a 40-year-old Army veteran who trained in psychological warfare before he was demoted and discharged more than a decade ago.

A day after he killed six worshipers at the suburban Milwaukee temple, fragments of Page's life emerged in public records and interviews. But his motive was still largely a mystery.

Oak Creek police Chief John Edwards suggested Monday that investigators might never know for sure why the lone attacker targeted a temple full of strangers.

"We have a lot of information to decipher, to put it all together, before we can positively tell you what that motive is — if we can determine that," Edwards said.

Page, who was shot to death by police, joined the Army in 1992 and was discharged in 1998. He was described Monday by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a "frustrated neo-Nazi" active in the obscure underworld of white supremacist music.

Page wrote frequently on white supremacist websites, describing himself as a member of the "Hammerskins Nation," a skinhead group rooted in Texas that has offshoots in Australia and Canada, according to the SITE Monitoring Service, a Maryland-based private intelligence firm that searches the Internet for terrorist and other extremist activity.

In online forums, Page promoted his music while interacting with other skinheads. He posted 250 messages on one site between March 2010 and the middle of this year. In November, Page challenged a poster who indicated he would leave the United States if Herman Cain were elected president, writing in reply, "Stand and fight, don't run."

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the law center, a nonprofit civil rights organization in Montgomery, Ala., said Page played in bands whose often sinister-sounding names seemed to "reflect what he went out and actually did." The songs' lyrics mentioned genocide against Jews and other minorities.

Page joined the military in Milwaukee in 1992 and was a repairman for the Hawk missile system before switching jobs to become one of the Army's psychological operations specialists assigned to a battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C.

He was demoted in June 1998 for getting drunk while on duty and going AWOL, two defense officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

The FBI is leading the investigation because the shooting is considered domestic terrorism. The agency said it had no reason to believe anyone other than Page was involved.

Page entered the temple as several dozen people prepared for Sunday services. He opened fire without saying a word.

The first officer to respond was shot eight or nine times as he tended to a victim outside the temple. A second officer then exchanged gunfire with the suspect, who was fatally shot.

The six dead ranged in age from 39 to 84 years old. Three people were critically wounded, including the police officer.

The president of the temple died defending the house of worship he founded. Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, managed to find a butter knife in the temple and tried to stab the gunman before being shot twice, his son said Monday.

Federal officials said the gun used in the attack had been legally purchased.

Comments
U.S. experts urge Florida to swap voting information with other states

U.S. experts urge Florida to swap voting information with other states

Voting experts from Alabama to West Virginia urged Florida Monday to join 20 other states in a partnership to scrub its voter rolls before the next statewide election in 2018.At a conference in Tallahassee, experts emphasized the benefits of data-sha...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Florida House Speaker unconcerned about aide secretly moonlighting for lobbyist consultant

Florida House Speaker unconcerned about aide secretly moonlighting for lobbyist consultant

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran has cast himself as champion of ethics and transparency, a bulwark against special interests in Tallahassee. But he tells The Buzz he has no concerns about his communications director having secretly worked for ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Update: Gun found near Lakewood High, school now on lockout

Update: Gun found near Lakewood High, school now on lockout

A gun was found in a backpack near Lakewood High on Monday, St. Petersburg Police spokeswoman Sandra Bentil has confirmed.She would not say where exactly the gun was located off-campus or if it was loaded.The school, which was placed on lockdown arou...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Ashley Moody unveils powerhouse finance team in bid for AG

Ashley Moody unveils powerhouse finance team in bid for AG

Former Hillsborough Circuit Judge Ashley Moody got the support from incumbent Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi before she even officially announced for the job.Even with three other Republicans in the race — Jay Fant, Ross Spano, Frank W...
Updated: 3 hours ago
‘80s Holiday Gift Guide: Here’s what to buy your friends this season

‘80s Holiday Gift Guide: Here’s what to buy your friends this season

The holidays are almost here, and as a proud fan of the '80s, you no doubt want to represent the decade in your gift-giving again this year. But how many A Christmas Story leg lamp ornaments can you really give out? Here are some fresh ideas to ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
How bad are Florida State’s football facilities?

How bad are Florida State’s football facilities?

As Jimbo Fisher was leaving Florida State for Texas A&M, an administrative commitment to facilities was one reason why.So how bad are the Seminoles' facilities, really?No. 12 in the country, according to 247Sports.That's better than Miami (...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Kesha, Macklemore coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Kesha, Macklemore coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Brush your teeth with Jack Daniel's and put on your grandpa's hand-me-downs, because Kesha and Macklemore are teaming up for a summer tour.The pop outcasts-turned-heroes will hit the road for a 30-city trek that includes a stop at Tampa's MidFlorida ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

Live from Disney: Winter meetings update, day 1

UPDATE, 10:30: In addition to the Cardinals, the Rockies and Mets are considered hot in pursuit of Rays closer Alex Colome. …. Keep hearing the Angels as a potential landing spot for 3B Evan Longoria if the Rays deal him. … Rays manager K...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash on trade speculation, bullpen staffing, Yankees addition of Giancarlo Stanton

Rays manager Kevin Cash was first up in the media room at the winter meetings today and here are a few up the more interesting things he said:* On trade speculation regarding their veterans such as Chris Archer and Evan Longoria: "I know there is a l...
Updated: 3 hours ago
What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

What to watch this week: New season of ‘The Librarians,’ Gwen Stefani’s Christmas special

MondaySEASON FINALE: The Gifted, 9 p.m., Fox: The team at Mutant HQ is divided on what to do next after Jace is forced to hand over something valuable to Dr. Campbell.Disney's Fairytale Weddings: Holiday Magic, 8 p.m., Freeform: A behind-the-scenes l...
Updated: 2 hours ago