Sikh temple massacre: Gunman was convicted criminal who'd been 'looked at' by Federal authorities due to white supremacist links
Page was nonetheless able to
legally purchase the 9mm handgun and ammunition used in Sunday’s attack.
The gunman who
killed six worshipers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was a convicted criminal
who had been brought to the attention of Federal authorities and monitored by
civil rights groups because of his ties to the white supremacist movement.
Wade Michael Page, a skinhead who played guitar in neo-Nazi rock bands, had been prosecuted for drunken driving and criminal mischief. But he was nonetheless able to legally purchase the 9mm handgun and ammunition used in Sunday’s attack.
“He brought it legally; he was not an ineligible person,” said James Santelle, the US attorney for the disctrict which takes in Oak Creek, the town near Milwaukee where the mass-shooting was carried out.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that federal investigators had repeatedly “looked at” claims that Page was helping fund domestic terror groups in recent years. He played guitar for several skinhead rock bands, and had been pictured performing under Swastikas.
Citing an un-named “senior US law-enforcement official,” the newspaper added that authorities had been unable to find sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to open any formal investigation.
Page, 40, arrived at the Temple at around 10am, as regulars were gathering for a weekly service. Witnesses say he approached a priest standing outside, shot him, then reloaded and entered the building’s lobby. Blood evidence suggests that he was then injured in a struggle with a second man, who later died from his wounds.
Police arrived shortly afterwards and shot Page dead. One officer remains in hospital after being among the three people seriously wounded. The attack is being treated as a “hate crime” and there are suspicions that he wrongly believed the victims to be Muslims.
Teresa Carlson, the FBI official in charge of the investigation into Sunday’s attack told reporters that the agency was now: “looking into [Page’s] ties to the white supremacist movement.” She added that investigators currently had no evidence to suggest that Page had any accomplices."The definition of domestic terrorism is the use of violence for social or political gain. That's obviously what we are looking at."
It has meanwhile emerged that Page was jailed in Texas for 60 days in the mid-1990s after being found guilty of “criminal mischief,” and had also racked up at least one drink-driving conviction. Neither his criminal record, nor the fact that authorities had looked at his suspected links to far-right terrorist groups, were enough to prevent him passing the federal background check required to legally purchase firearms in the US.
The Springfield semi-automatic handgun used in the attack was duly purchased at a local gun-store called The Shooter Shop. Small, easily concealed, and capable of firing large amounts of ammunition in a short time, is similar to the handguns used by both James Holmes, the perpetrator of the Aurora cinema shooting, and Jared Lee Loughner, who killed six people, and wounded Congresswoman Gabriell Giffords, in Tuscon last year.
The attack has sparked widespread soul-searching among the 500,000 Sikhs who live across America, and have been victims of hundreds of reported hate-crimes in the years since 9/11. On Monday night, hundreds gathered at a temple in the nearby town off Brookfield to pay their respects to victims. Scott Walker, the State’s governor, told community leaders that: “in addition to mourning with you, we support you.”
South Korea ferry: Sewol captain says he is 'sorry to the people of South Korea' and that he delayed evacuating ship in case passengers 'drifted away'
Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Wreckage could be found within a week as search reaches 'very critical juncture', says minister
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
Royal Tour 2014: Is the Duchess of Cambridge the only person ever to climb into a fighter jet wearing a dress and high heels?
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Easter egg hunt horror as mother finds dead body under deck of house
- 2 'Natural' energy drink banned for containing erectile dysfunction drug
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Kingdom Tower: Construction of 1km high new world’s tallest building to begin next week in Saudi Arabia
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...