Sikh Temple Shooting Victim Had Ties To Milford Study Circle
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MILFORD (CBS) – It was an evening of prayerful reflection at the Sikh temple in Milford, where hundreds gathered for a special ceremony Monday night.
Beforehand, Kavi Singh, of The Sikh Coalition, explained the reasoning behind the evening’s vigil. “We don’t harbor any ill will towards anybody,” he explained. “This is an unfortunate incident that happened and we have gone through similar incidents in our past. We hope that this doesn’t happen to anybody else. It doesn’t matter the community if it’s it’s Sikh or any other denomination of faith in general, we hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Sunday’s mass shooting in Milwaukee touches the worldwide Sikh community — but particularly the people in this temple, since one of the men killed in Wisconsin has family here.
“He always saw himself as someone who wanted to make sure people are well and successful,” says Gursher Gill, whose uncle Satwant Kaleka, was killed trying to throw himself at the gunman. Kaleka was the president of that temple.
“He was known in the community. He had a very giving personality and was very instrumental in setting up the Sikh temple and dedicated a lot of time serving it,” explained Gill.
For the faithful, it remains a time to pray. For investigators, though, much work lies ahead. They must try to figure out what drove 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page to open fire, killing six.
“There’s a great deal of evidence that suggests that Page has an ideological agenda; he was part of an extremist organization, he was very involved in it,” says J.M. Berger, a Cambridge-based expert in domestic terrorism. He’s learned Page was a member of a national skinhead group, and had a music career fueled by his racism.
“Some of the music that Page was involved in making specifically mentions Pakistani’s so he may have thought they were Pakistanis in the temple,” Berger explains. Or, “He may have known exactly who they were, so we’ll just have to wait to find out. And because he’s dead we may never know.”