OAK CREEK — Police said Sunday, August 5th seven people are dead, including a gunman, and three others are injured following a shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek.
A high-ranking member of the Sikh community has said two of the dead are the equivalent of “priests” in the temple.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) Chicago division said the gunman was a white man in his 40s. Officials have not yet released the name of the gunman.
Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said Oak Creek dispatch received several 911 calls regarding a shooting at the temple around 10:30 a.m. Sunday.
Police say the first officer to the scene — a 20-year veteran, accomplished tactical officer, along with another officer were attending to a victim at the scene when they were ambushed by the gunman. The second officer engaged the active shooter, and according to police, the shooter died as a result of that officer’s actions.
The first responding officer was shot multiple times. The officer was transported to the hospital, and was in surgery for multiple gunshot wounds. Police say the officer shot is expected to survive. His name has not yet been released, pending family notification.
Police say there was a service going on inside the temple at the time of the shooting. It took officials most of the afternoon and into the early evening to clear and secure the temple and surrounding area.
Police say they believe this to be an act of “domestic terrorism,” which is defined as an act of terrorism occurring within the United States. Police said weapons were recovered at the scene, but have not elaborated on that at this time.
The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office are assisting with the ongoing investigation, which is being led by the FBI.
Froedtert Hospital has confirmed three men were transported to the hospital following the shooting. Froedtert officials say all three are in critical condition. Froedtert officials said one man was shot in the abdomen and chest, one in the extremities and face and one in the neck. Two had undergone surgeries and another was undergoing a “complex procedure.” One of those three individuals is the first responding Oak Creek police officer.
Froedtert Hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center and officials say it is “unfortunately not uncommon” to handle three shooting victims at one time.
A Sikh Temple member at the scene told FOX6 News the temple has an attendance of about 400-500 people per week. FOX6 News is told the temple is five years old.
The Sikh religion is based in northern India, and one church member says the religion has a Milwaukee-area population of around 1,000. The religion has a population in India of 2.5 million.
The next update is expected at Monday morning, August 6th, when officials will address the media.
The FBI is leading this investigation because it is an “act of domestic terrorism.”
The temple is clear, but officials have yet to release any victim names at this point in time, pending family notifications.
Officials are interviewing witnesses, and weapons experts will identify where shots were fired, and what kind of weapon(s) were used.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for the latest in this story.