Oak Creek, Wisconsin, United States
Aug 05, 2012
Wade Michael Page
On August 5, 2012, a mass shooting took place at the gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, United States where 40-year-old Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others. A seventh victim died of his wounds in 2020. Page committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the hip by a responding police officer.
Page was an American white supremacist and Army veteran from Cudahy, Wisconsin. Apart from the shooter, all of the dead were members of the Sikh faith. The incident drew responses from President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Dignitaries attended candlelight vigils in countries such as the U.S., Canada, and India. First Lady Michelle Obama visited the temple on August 23, 2012
Following emergency calls around 10:25 a.m. CDT, police responded to a shooting at a Sikh gurdwara located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. On arrival, they engaged the gunman, later identified as Wade Michael Page, who had shot several people at the temple, killing six. Page wounded an officer; after being shot in the stomach by another, he fatally shot himself in the head. He was armed with a 9mm Springfield XD(M) semi-automatic pistol. Page had legally purchased the gun in Wisconsin. Four people were killed inside the temple, and three people, including Page, died outside. Page killed five men and one woman, ranging in age from 39 to 84.
Three men were transported to Froedtert Hospital, including one of the responding officers.
Initial reports said the gunman had died from being shot by police officers at the scene, but the FBI later clarified that Page, after being shot by an officer, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Authorities released an audio recording of the incident, during which the first responding officer, Lieutenant Brian Murphy, was shot by the gunman. It contained the words "I have someone walking out the driveway towards me. Man with a gun, white t-shirt", followed by the sound of gunfire. In September 2012, authorities released video recordings taken by squad cars during the incident, including the moments when Murphy was shot, and the gunman being shot by another officer. Murphy was shot fifteen times by Page, but survived.
The temple was preparing langar, a Sikh communal meal, for later in the day. Witnesses suggested that women and children would have been at the temple preparing for the meal at the time of the incident, as children's classes were scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated the site, and Oak Creek police chief John Edwards said his force treated the incident as a "domestic terrorism incident" in "the beginning stages of this investigation". Oak Creek police handed the investigation over to the FBI. They also investigated possible ties to white supremacist groups and other racial motivations. The FBI said there was no reason to think anyone else was involved in the attack, and they were not aware of any past threat made against the temple. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder described the incident as "an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime".