State Rep. Josh Zepnick says couple thousand Sikhs in Milwaukee

OAK CREEK — FOX6 News spoke with Josh Zepnick (D – Milwaukee) at the Sikh Temple, following a shooting at the temple in Oak Creek Sunday morning, August 5th. Zepnick says he has many Sikh friends, and is close with many Sikh business owners on Milwaukee’s south side.

“What motivates somebody to come to a place of worship on a beautiful morning, and open up gunfire? I don’t understand what is going on,” Rep. Zepnick said.

Zepnick said his wife used to live in India, and spent six months in the country after college. The Sikh religion is based in northern India.

Zepnick says he has become friends with may of the Sikhs in his neighborhood.

“I have worshipped at temple with them many times. I have great respect for them,” Zepnick said.

Zepnick says he estimates the Sikh population in the Milwaukee-area to be “several thousand.”

Zepnick says the Sikh religion is a “very unique experience.”

“You take your shoes off, and sit on the floor — men on one side, and women on the other. It’s a very beautiful service, even not understanding the language,” Zepnick said.

Zepnick says many of the Sikhs in Milwaukee have relatives in India. He says he expects Sunday’s shooting to reverberate around the world for many years to come.

“(The temple) is a place where you feel safe in a world where people maybe look at you differently because of the way you dress and talk,” Zepnick said.

Zepnick said the Sikhs are very outspoken about how people need to better understand one another’s differences, and be “one people.”

Multiple police departments and tactical units are on the scene following a shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. Officials say one officer was shot multiple times. Officials say that officer returned fire on a shooter, and that shooter is down outside the temple.

Police do not know at this time whether there are other shooters inside the temple. Police say the situation is “ongoing” and “fluid.”

Froedtert Hospital officials say three men are in critical condition.

CLICK HERE for additional Sikh Temple shooting coverage via FOX6Now.com.

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