Southern Poverty Law Center releases report on Sikh Temple gunman

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MONTGOMERY, Alabama -- The Southern Poverty Law Center on Tuesday, November 27th released its report on Wade Michael Page -- the gunman in the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek back in August.

Last week, the FBI announced it had wrapped up its investigation into the shooting, which left six dead and four injured. The FBI has yet to release its full report on the shooting to the general public.

The FBI investigation indicates Wade Page acted alone when he killed six and wounded four others. No evidence was uncovered to conclude this attack was directed or facilitated by any white supremacist group.

During the shooting at the temple, Page exchanged gun fire with two Oak Creek police officers — seriously wounding one before being shot by another officer. Page then turned his weapon on himself. There is also no evidence to suggest the attack was part of any ongoing threat to the Sikh community.

On August 4th, Page turned in his Hammerskins badge (a white supremacist group) and shirt and got rid of his computer. Just days earlier, Page reportedly visited the Sikh Temple at least once before the shooting.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, in its report, indicates Page's white supremacist ideals were perhaps born at U.S. Army base Fort Bragg, that was home to a thriving neo-Nazi underworld during the time Page was stationed there in the mid-1990s.

The reports says in 1995, three Fort Bragg soldiers murdered a black man and a black woman in North Carolina to earn their spider web tattoos, which signify the killing of non-whites. The soldiers went to prison for life and 19 others were discharged for participating in neo-Nazi activities. This prompted Congressional hearings and new military regulations -- according to the SLPC's report.

"The reality is that these groups or people associated with the white supremacist scene will even tell their people go into the military because there you will learn the skills needed in the coming race war," SPLC Intelligence Report Editor Mark Potok told FOX6 News.

The report cites Pete Simi, an associate professor of criminology at the University of Nebraska, Omaha who interviewed Page numerous times from 2001 to 2003, and even bunked with him and a white supremacist roommate to learn about their daily lives.

“He always said, ‘If you don’t go in the military a racist, you’re sure to leave as one,'" Simi said in the report.

Page's time the Army eventually ended when he showed up for work drunk, according to the report. Then, when Page refused treatment, the Army discharged him in 1998.

From there, Page reportedly moved in with a woman in Denver, but ended up on the streets after they broke up.

In 2000, Page attended a large white power music festival, and then relocated to southern California, where the racist music scene thrived.

Page's heavy drinking continued, and it was difficult for him to hold down jobs because he would pass out and not show up for work the next day, according to the report.

After September 11th, Page was reportedly so furious that he thought the U.S. should bomb the Middle East, according to the report. Page also reportedly had hatred directed toward Jews and blacks.

In 2003, Page moved back to North Carolina and began working for a Harley-Davidson dealership. He was fired from that job when he reportedly refused to take orders from female co-workers. Page's general manager reported finding an application for the KKK in Page's desk, according to the report.

In 2005, Page formed his white supremacist band End Apathy.

The report indicates that in October 2011, he earned his “patch” and became a full member of the Northern Hammerskins, a chapter of Hammerskin Nation, one of the most violent and dominant skinhead groups in the U.S.

Last year, Page moved to Milwaukee, and moved in with 31-year-old girlfriend Misty Cook -- also a white supremacist. In June, their relationship ended, and in July, Page stopped showing up for work.

The Sikh Temple is just down the block from the restaurant where Cook worked, according to the report.

It will likely never be known exactly what Page's motivation was for entering the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek and opening fire.

"There are many thousands of people involved in these white supremacy groups and as ugly as those groups are the vast majority of them do not carry out mass murders," Potok said.

In the report, Simi said he found it hard to believe Page was involved in the shooting.

“I remember him saying, ‘When talk fails, violence prevails.’ But they all said stuff like that. The crazy part is, if you told me some of the others went on a shooting rampage, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Wade was pretty mellow compared to the others in that skinhead, white supremacist culture. Many of them are far more violent," Simi said in the report.

CLICK HERE to read the Southern Poverty Law Center's full report on Wade Michael Page.

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

1 Comment

  • Remona

    whoah this blog is wonderful i really like studying your
    posts. Keep up the good work! You know, lots of individuals
    are searching round for this info, you can aid them greatly.

Comments are closed.