In case you haven’t already heard for some reason, seven people died yesterday in a shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, a suburb of Milwaukee. The horrific attack — which came just two weeks after a gun massacre in Aurora, Colorado — is Wisconsin’s fifth mass shooting since 2004.
Authorities identified Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old U.S. Army veteran, as the alleged shooter in a press conference this morning. Oak Creek police say the incident is being treated as an act of domestic terrorism and the FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime; the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups across America, reports that Page is “a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band.”
From what I’ve been hearing from family and friends in Wisconsin, the state is reeling right now. My heart breaks for the victims and their families, and my thoughts are with the Sikh community and peace-loving, nonviolent, inclusive, ecumenically-minded people all across Wisconsin who are shocked, grieving, and trying to make sense of something so senseless.