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Shooting at Gurudwara in Wisconsin, 7 killed

PTI 06 Aug 2012, 16:20:54 IST
New York, Aug 6 : Six people were killed in an attack on a Gurudwara during Sunday morning prayers in Wisconsin by at least one gunman who was also shot dead, police said.

At least 20 people were also injured when at least one shooter opened fire indiscriminately amid reports that 12 children were taken as hostages at the Sikh shrine.

Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt said four people were gunned down inside the Gurudwara while three including the shooter died outside the shrine.

The identity of the victims were immediately not known.Police said they have not yet identified if there was any additional shooter. Preliminary reports said that at least three gunmen were involved in the attack.

According to Satwant's sister-in-law Parmindar Kaur, about 25 people are believed to have been injured. A Sikh priest had specially come from India to address the gathering on Sunday.

The critically injured have been admitted to Froedtert hospital.

The shooting at Oak Creek, just south of Wisconsin's biggest city Milwaukee, occurred at around 11 am (local time), the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. Oak Creek is about 1,250 km from New York.

About 300 to 400 people were reported to be at the Gurudwara, built about 6-7 years ago, and is spread over an expansive area.

Initial reports said a witness to the shooting told law enforcement agents that one shooter was of a heavy build, bald white male wearing a sleeveless T-shirt.

US President Barack Obama was also briefed by his counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan on the situation and the White House is seized of the matter, US officials said.  The shooter was last seen with two handguns.

“The people who started shooting are three white people,” said Gurcharan Grewal, President Sikh Society.

A police spokesman said a law enforcement officer was shot multiple times by the unidentified shooter, who was “put down”. It was not immediately known if the shooter was injured or killed.

“We do not know if there are additional shooters at the temple,” he said. The officer has been transported to hospital and was expected to survive.

The spokesman said tactical operations are ongoing and that the situation was “very fluid”.

The Milwaukee Sentinel reported that two shooters are possibly still inside the Gurudwara with children as hostages.  Being a Sunday, the Gurudwara was likely to have been crowded.

Media reports said about 12 children have been held hostages. The president of the temple is also reportedly shot and has been rushed to the hospital, they said.

Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao described the shooting as extremely tragic and said the Embassy was in touch with the National Security Council at White House. The Consul General at Chicago is deputing an official to the spot.