First lady to visit families of Sikh temple shooting victims
(CNN) — First lady Michelle Obama will travel to Wisconsin Thursday to meet with family members of those killed and injured in a Sikh temple shooting earlier this month, White House officials confirmed Sunday.
The shooting — which left six people dead and four others injured — occurred August 5 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. The shooter, identified by police as 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, was shot by police responding to the Sunday morning attack and later died.
At a memorial service for the shooting victims, Attorney General Eric Holder labeled the attack on the temple “an act of terrorism, an act of hatred, a hate crime” — the strongest denunciation of the rampage by a federal law enforcement official.
Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Sikhs in America have been targeted by revenge-seekers who apparently have mistaken them for Muslims, perhaps due to the turbans they traditionally wear and their dark skin.
In a statement released the morning of the shooting, President Barack Obama wrote that “the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded.”
“My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation,” Obama continued. “As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.”
After a shooting at a Colorado movie theater in July that left 12 people dead, the president visited with families of the victims and made a short statement to cameras.
He has thus far avoided calls from gun control advocates to offer new proposals on restricting access to firearms.