All morning we’ve been learning details about Wade Michael Page, the man suspected of opening fire yesterday on Sikh temple near Milwaukee, Wisc.Seven people, including Page, died during the shooting.
Local authorities are holding a press conference at 10 a.m. local time. Here are the highlights, via CNN:
Mayor Steve Scaffidi is speaking up first.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims.”
He said “there is no doubt in my mind,” Oak Creek police officers prevented a greater tragedy. Scaffidi called the city welcoming and diverse and announced a community-wide vigil to be held Tuesday night at 8:30.
Police Chief John Edwards is the next to speak. He said 27 agencies from the surrounding areas responded to the scene yesterday.
Fire Chief Thomas Roundish is the third to speak. More than 22 units and 60 personnel responded, according to Rosandich.
Edwards is now giving a brief overview of yesterday’s incident. Officers arrived “within minutes of the initial call.”
The first officer came upon a victim in the parking lot and went to help the victim, according to Edwards.
“It was at that point that he was met by the suspect,” he said, adding the officer was shot eight to nine times with a handgun.Other officers arrived the scene and observed the suspect in the parking lot.
“One of our vehicles took some rounds through the windshield,” Edwards said, adding that another car was shot as well.
As the officers approached the shot police officer, “he waved them,” and told them to search for victims in the temple, Edwards said.
The reason it took so long to clear that area following the shooting is due to the fact that police is not only cleared the temple itself, but did a grid search with the tactical teams with air support. They also did a door-to-door of about 200 residences to make sure everyone was safe, Edwards said, adding that there was only one shooter.
Edwards identified the shot officer as Lt. Brian Murphy, 51. Murphy is a 21-year-veteran of the department. Murphy is still in critical condition.
“He was actually a tactical team leader for years,” Edwards said.
A Sikh leader has taken the stage to read the names of the victims. The victims are, courtesy of ABC News:
- Bhai Seeta Singh
- Bhai Parkash Singh
- Bhai Ranjit Singh
- Satwant Singh Kaleka
- Subegh Singh
- Parmjit Kaur Toor
Edwards confirmed Wade Michael Page was the shooter.
“We can say he was in the military,” Edwards confirmed. “He is the only shooter that was involved at the temple.”
U.S. attorney James L. Santelle is speaking now. The partnership between law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin can be credited for the organised response to yesterday’s shooting.
“We could not benefit more,” from that collaboration, Santelle said.
Santelle is not giving information about the Sikh faith, calling it a faith of love.
“The Muslim faith is not the Sikh faith,” he said.
Teresa Carlson, the FBI’s Milwaukee Special Agent is now speaking. The FBI has no reason to believe more than one person was involved in the shooting, according to Carlson.
Carlson held up a photo of a man she called a “person of interest” in the case. She asked that anyone with information about this unnamed person call the tip line.
Here is the photo Carlson held up during the press conference:
An ATF agent at the news conference said the agency is confident it has gathered necessary information about the gun used in the shooting.
According to Edwards, the unnamed person of interest was on scene after the shooting. Some on the scene thought he looked suspicious, but he left before officers could speak with him.
Authorities confirmed Page used a 9mm handgun during the shooting. When asked if they believe Page was a white supremacist, Carlson said authorities are looking at ties to white supremacist groups but the investigation is ongoing.
The FBI had a SWAT team and an evidence response team at the apartment in Cudahy last night, Carlson is telling reporters. The evidence response team searched the place last night but Carlson refused to give details about the search.
Audience members asked when they would be allowed back in the temple, to which Carlson replied she isn’t sure.
A representative of the Sikh community took the podium to issue his condolences to those who lost family members. He also thanked law enforcement for their work on the investigation.
In addition, he thanked a variety of companies, including Sonic and the Red Cross, for their aid.
Edwards said no press conference is scheduled for this afternoon. He will notify the media when there is enough information to warrant another press conference.
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