Oak Creek, Wisconsin shooting: Siblings ran to warn others as Sikh temple shooting erupted

OAK CREEK, Wisconsin -- Two young children have emerged as heroes after warning others of a gunman on a rampage at their Sikh house of worship in suburban Milwaukee.

Abhay Singh, 11, and his sister, Amanat, 9, were sitting outside the gurdwara Sunday morning when the shooter, identified as Wade Michael Page, first opened fire on two people.

"We ran as fast as we could inside to warn everybody in the kitchen and everybody else there is a man outside with a gun," Abhay -- whose name means "fearless" -- told CNN's "AC360" on Wednesday. "We were a little bit scared."

The children said they hid with others in a pantry after sounding the alarm.

Their mother, Kanwal Singh, and father had told them to stay inside while they went to a store to get supplies for a meal at the gurdwara. But the children said the inside was hot.

The horrified parents could not immediately reach the children.

"We were worried and praying like hopefully we will see them again," KanwalSingh said.

The FBI, meanwhile, said Wednesday that Page died from a self-inflicted wound to the head and not from a shot fired by a responding officer.

Police previously said Page died after being shot by the officer. That shot in the stomach was potentially fatal, but Page died from the self-inflicted wound, said Teresa Carlson, special agent in charge for the FBI in Milwaukee.

Carlson revealed few other details about the investigation of Sunday's shooting in Oak Creek. Six people were killed.

She said that no clear motive has been established and that Misty Cook, Page's former girlfriend who was arrested Sunday on an unrelated weapons charge, is probably not linked to the shooting.

"We do not believe she had anything to do with it," Carlson said.

After authorities went to Cook's home to interview her, she was charged with possessing a gun, which is illegal because she is a felon.

Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran who neighbors say played in a so-called hate-rock band, was the lone gunman, Carlson said.

Police have not found any notes or other clues as to why Page went on a killing spree at the Oak Creek temple, and his family members have not reported observing warning signs.

"This is a guy who moved around a lot," Carlson said. "We are zeroing in on any possible motives, but right now, we don't have one."

Authorities have conducted more than 100 interviews nationwide with people including Page's family members, associates and neighbors, she said. They also are reviewing his e-mails and other electronic records.

The investigation continued as a community reeled from the carnage.

For a fourth consecutive night, mourners held vigils Wednesday to remember the dead and pray for the wounded.

One gathering was held near the White House. Many of the estimated 200 or so people wore ribbons colored orange and blue to symbolize the identity of the Sikh community. Many wrote notes on a sign that had the names of the victims and read "United Against Hate." The sign will be sent to the Wisconsin temple.

Authorities received tips that Page might have links to the white supremacist movement, but nothing has been confirmed, according to Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards and the FBI.

Officials said that the 9 mm semiautomatic handgun with multiple ammunition magazines used by the attacker had been legally purchased.

According to a man who described himself as Page's old Army buddy, the attacker talked about "racial holy war" when they served together in the 1990s. Christopher Robillard of Oregon, who said he lost contact with Page more than a decade ago, added that when Page would rant, "it would be about mostly any non-white person."

Page, born on Veterans Day in 1971, joined the Army in 1992 and left the service in 1998, according to Army spokesman George Wright.

Page's service was marked by "patterns of misconduct," and he received a general discharge because of "discreditable incidents," according to a Pentagon official. Robillard said Page was pushed out for showing up to formation drunk.

An Iowa-based trucking company, which employed Page from April 2006 to August 2010, said it fired him as a driver for violating company policy regarding impaired driving, which also applied to personal vehicles.

Barr-Nunn Transportation, in a statement Monday, said Page was dismissed after he received an impaired-driving citation in North Carolina while driving a personal vehicle on his own time. "Additional documentation indicates he refused to submit to a chemical analysis to determine alcohol concentration or presence of an impairing substance at the time of the citation," the company said.

Page lived in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for several years. He owned a modest house on a country road, but he ran into financial trouble and the home was foreclosed on, according to Wells Fargo bank.

John Tew, manager of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle store in Fayetteville, told CNN he fired Page from his parts coordinator

job in 2004 because Page "had a big problem with authority" and with working with women. Tew said he found an application for the Ku Klux Klan on Page's desk the day he was dismissed.

Two neighbors of Page identified him in photos that showed him playing in the far-right punk band "End Apathy" with Nazi flags hanging near him.

The six victims of Sunday's attack were identified by police as five men -- Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65; Prakash Singh, 39, and Suveg Singh, 84 -- and one woman, 41-year-old Paramjit Kaur.

CNN's Moni Basu, Brian Todd, Ted Rowlands, Carol Cratty, Mike Mount, Ed Payne, Scott Bronstein, Tom Cohen, Shawn Nottingham, Susan Candiotti, Deborah Feyerick, Phil Gast and Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.


Comments