A gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple in a suburban Milwaukee community on Sunday, Aug. 5. After two hours of confusion, police are confirming that at least seven people, including the suspected shooter, have died.
At least three more are currently in critical condition, hospital officials have confirmed.
A veteran police officer who showed up first on the scene killed the gunman but was hit in the shootout, Reuters reports. The officer was rushed to the hospital and is now in surgery, police say.
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At the time of the attack the worshipers were preparing for a meal and many women and children were supposed to be inside the large temple. Even more people could have been hurt if the attack happened just a little later.
The shootings started in the parking lot and continued inside. Smiran Kaleka, the niece of one of the wounded men, said an unknown number of gunmen walked into the kitchen of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek and started shooting. She said her mother had told her the shooters were white men.
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According to police, multiple 911 calls from the temple started coming in at approximately 10:25 a.m. local time. Friends and relatives also started receiving updates from their loved ones hiding inside bathrooms and janitorial closets of the temple.
Some reports from witnesses suggested that hostages were being held inside the temple but police did not confirm this.
A man who said his father had been wounded in the incident reported that there had been multiple shooters of Caucasian descent, quoting people inside the temple. "It was a very coordinated thing," the man, identified as Amardeep Kaleka, told police.
This shooting comes just two weeks after the tragic theatre massacre killed 12 and left 58 wounded during a midnight screening of Dark Knight Rises in Colorado.
With files from Reuters