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CNN BREAKING NEWS
6 Dead in Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting
Aired August 5, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN "Breaking News."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I need an ambulance. I do not see a shooter anywhere. And I am on the -- just come in behind me.
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DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Don Lemon. We are following a breaking news on CNN. Those were chilling moments when police were dealing with a shooting rampage at a Sikh temple. And you just heard brand new recordings from police dispatch in Wisconsin.
The gunman and six others are dead, an officer was wounded in a firefight. CNN's Ted Rowlands is there bringing us the very latest on that. We'll get to Ted in just a moment. But, first, I want you to hear from the police and that dispatch and then we're back to Ted.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, subject's not moving. We're approaching upon him. He's not moving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Call an ambulance. Stop. Subject's down. Stop. Subject's down. Call an ambulance.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have one officer shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bacon (ph)needs back-up. Squad 7512 South Hollow Avenue. Subject's with a gun, balding, white T-shirt. Officer down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Officer down. Those were dispatches from the emergency department from police that you're listening to right there. Ted Rowlands standing by. We've had so much more information to get in and those were really tenuous moments as this was all developing.
Ted, I understand now, you have some new developments to tell us about this alleged shooter. What do you know. TED ROWLANDS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A little bit more information, Don, on the shooter and the gun that was used. One firearm was used in this shooting according to a special agent with the ATF we just talked to about five minutes ago.
It is a nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol. It was recovered at the scene. They have issued a search warrant for the home where the suspect lives. They are executing that warrant as we speak right now, looking for more weapons, going through the computer files, if there is a computer there, or any other information about the suspect and what could have led to this shooting.
Take a listen to a portion of the interview we did with this ATF agent just a few minutes ago, talking about the suspect.
He's a 40-year-old male. We'll try to get you that sound in a bit, Don. But here's basically what he told me. 40-year-old white male who lives in a nearby town called Couderay (ph) which is about 13 miles away from the temple.
And, at this point, they've been talking to witnesses, they have the suspect's identity. They have not been able to have any connections, set any connection between the suspect and this temple at all.
Witnesses say that he was a bald, white male with a "9/11" tattoo on his arm. We got some more information about the witnesses. We haven't been able to talk -- we haven't talked t to -- let's first listen to the ATF agent and what he said about the suspect and about the ongoing investigation. We have that now.
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THOMAS AHERN, ATF AGENT: A white male, approximately 40 years of age and that's all we have. As far as his motive, we're a long way away from that right now. And as I said, the situation is still very fluid, you know, with the warrants being served right now at his residence.
And the scene is still being processed. There's a lot of interviews that need to take place with witnesses from inside the temple and so forth. Then it's just to reconstruct the crime scene. And the timeline of this is still ways off.
ROWLANDS: And, Don, those witnesses are still here. They're at an adjacent bowling alley near the temple. They're still being interviewed and processed. A few of them have been allowed to go home.
And we've seen some very emotional scenes as people coming out in tears, being put into vehicles and shuttled away, obviously very distraught some folks. But there are still more witnesses that we talked to. We did have an opportunity to talk to an interpreter that's being used by the police here to talk to eyewitnesses. He went in and helped decipher basically what these witnesses were telling police and investigators. His name is Kanwardeep Kaleka. And it's a fascinating interview. But take a listen to a little bit of this and you'll understand basically what happened during this temple shooting.
KANWARDEEP SINGH KALEKA, SIKH TEMPLE MEMBER: My gut is there's probably just one. And there's just some accounts that conflict in a way that, maybe, there's two in terms of hearing multiple gunshots, that they hear gunshots in the immediate vicinity. And it's a question whether it's an echo or gunshots of policemen or another gunman.
ROWLANDS: And, now, you did also hear witness' testimony on the actual shooter. You're saying that, according to witnesses, he had a "9/11" tattoo, he was a Caucasian male. What else can you tell us about this witness that you heard from witnesses. The shooter.
KALEKA: I mean, basically, he's fairly tall, around six foot. He was wearing a white T-shirt and black pants. And, in terms of the actual description, supposing he might have been driving a white car. We couldn't get a license plate on this but, yes, that's pretty much what we understand up at this point.
ROWLANDS: Set the scene for us. Tell us about the layout of the temple and what witnesses have told you in terms of where the shooting took place. This was about an hour before most of the people would be arriving for the 11:30 service. Tell us what you can, in terms of what you heard on what happened.
KALEKA: So, essentially, the temple is located just off the street. There's a large parking lot once you drive in a little bend. And when the gunman opened fire right at the entrance to the parking lot and killing at least one, if not two, people there, the gunman proceeded to enter.
And I'm not sure where the gunshots were fired at that point. It might have been in this area just outside what we call the "barhol" (ph) or the the religious room where we keep our holy book and where people pray.
And people from the kitchen had heard it and they fled. And then, I guess, he went into the holy room and opened fire on some individuals there injuring multiple, mainly turbaned individuals. Beyond that, he did opened fire.
Then he went to another area off to the side where the kitchen area was where a lot of ladies were cooking the food we feed the congregation and opened fire there and they were fortunate enough to duck down and dodge it.
So, there's really only minor injuries. But, for the most part, yes, it was mainly -- most of the stuff was done in front of the holy room and in the holy room.
ROWLANDS: And you say that the possible targets here were turbaned individuals. You're talking about male victims. And you say that these were holy men, a few priests were, in your estimation, through what you've heard from witnesses, targeted.
KALEKA: Well, it seems the few casualties that have been divulged to me have been the equivalent of priests, the holy leaders of our temple as well as my uncle who is one of them, who is one of the administrators of the temple.
So, it's mainly those individuals who have been targeted or were shot. And, yes, I mean, maybe it's because the ladies were fortunate enough to dodge it out but, so far, most of the people I've heard that have been shot or killed were all turbaned males.
ROWLANDS: And, again, seven dead including the shooter, Don. And one of the injured is the police officer that was first on scene, who was, as we have been telling you, was quote "ambushed" according to police investigators by this shooter.
His partner is the one that shot the shooter in the parking lot. We do understand that the officer has gone into surgery and is expected to survive. But he was shot multiple times at the scene. And, as you can imagine, outside the temple still here are very emotional scenes as people are coming and going, coming to see who was shot.
The names have not been released yet. The rumor mill, obviously, as it always does in a case like this, is running. So, there are a lot of folks that are dealing with not knowing or, when they do know, dealing with grief.
LEMON: Absolutely and one of which is not -- it's not exactly a rumor but it's second-hand information from people who are speaking to witnesses about that "9/11" tattoo. The suspect very well may have that.
Police have not confirmed that nor have we seen it. But this is according to a neighbor and also from a relative of people who were inside of that temple. Correct, Ted.
ROWLANDS: Correct. And I did ask Thomas Ahern from the ATF that question and he said that he, quite frankly, just didn't know. He didn't know about any markings on the shooter's body.
But we've heard it now from two different sources. One from a neighbor of the suspect and one from an eyewitness through this interpreter here at the scene.
LEMON: Ted Rowlands in Wisconsin. Ted, don't go anywhere. We'll be relying on you for more information as it comes in as we continue our coverage here. Again, Ted reporting the suspected gunman in this mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was a white male who was roughly 40 years of age.
Again, that's according to Thomas Ahern who is a spokesman for the ATF in the Chicago Division. That's after this guy -- this guy is believed to be the guy who killed six people, shot and killed six people inside that temple.
And, now, he has also left three people in critical condition in the hospital, including a police officer. And police in Oak Creek say, they'll release no more information until tomorrow morning. The last public statements from police near the shooting scene right now. Listen.
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JOHN EDWARDS, CHIEF, OAK CREEK, WISCONSIN POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our officers responded to the scene did find a victim. And we're dealing with that individual when our officer, a 20-year veteran, was ambushed, shot multiple times.
He's currently at the hospital undergoing surgery. We expect him to recover. And another officer who was on the scene was engaged by the suspect. Our officer did engage that individual and that individual is deceased from the actions that our officer took.
It stopped the tragic event that could have been a lot worse. There was a service going on with many people at that location. What we've done now is we've -- it's taken most of the day to clear that area that -- the church itself and the surrounding area because of conflicting reports that we got about how many people may be involved.
We just were able to clear it. What we're going to be doing, we have numerous individuals that we have -- that are deceased at this point. I don't have total numbers for you right now. We're working on that. We're going in there shortly.
The FBI will be handling the criminal investigation on this incident. We looked at it, the scope of it and what implications might be. We're treating this as a domestic terrorist type incident and, therefore, the FBI has the resources needed to help investigate that.
The ATF is also involved with this along with the Marquette Police Department is assisting us with the D.A.'s Office and the officer- involved shooting portion of this investigation.
At this point, I'm not going to give out demographics of who the individuals may be, as far as ages and genders. We don't have all that information.
I'm not releasing it to people unnotified. As far as the officer, we know he has family that still needs to be notified, so we are not giving his information out either.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE; How many injured, Chief.
EDWARDS: As far as we know, there are multiple injured -- I believe, there were two additional.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, what does that total.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many total.
EDWARDS: The total from what we have, I believe, we have seven deceased and three injured, including our officer.
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LEMON: Live on CNN, Oak Creek Police Chief, John Edwards, giving the latest information. And, of course, now, we have just learned that the suspected shooter, white male, roughly in his 40s, bald head. Police are executing a search warrant as we speak on his home.
Next, we'll get inside into Sikh community from a member of a Sikh coalition.
LEMON: Welcome back tour continuing coverage of the Wisconsin temple shooting. I'm Don Lemon at the scene and with headquarters at Atlanta.
And, you know, across America, the Sikh community is mourning the tragedy in Oak Creek. And people of this faith, which is obscure to most Americans, they are coming together now.
To talk more about the shooting, we are joined now by Amardeep Singh, Attorney and a Co-founder of the Sikh coalition. Thank you so much for joining us and, of course, my condolences for the tragedy which has struck your community.
AMARDEEP SINGH, CO-FOUNDER, SIKH COALITION: Thank you, Don.
LEMON: With the biggest coalition in the U.S. and civil rights group in the U.S., what are you doing in the wake of this horrific shooting.
SINGH: Yes, there are a few things, you know. One, we've been contacting our federal authorities. Everything -- everyone on from the President to the United States Justice Department. And, thankfully, they've expressed their full support to make sure we find out what happened and that this matter is properly investigated and that the community is protected.
In addition, we're working -- I, along with members of our organization, are going to be out in Wisconsin tomorrow to lend a hand to the community out there. As you can imagine, the Sikh community in the Midwest is relatively smaller than most of the communities on the coast, has less capacity, so we want to help them out.
And, finally, we're doing our best to educate folks on who we are and what we believe in, so folks understand that Sikh values are consistent with America's values.
LEMON: And you are heading to Wisconsin tomorrow to help out in this effort as you mentioned. How many of you and what do you plan to do exactly.
SINGH: So, at least three members of our staff are going to be out there in Wisconsin tomorrow. And the plan is really to just get a sense of, you know, what happened and then help the community there appropriately respond, so that we can get to the bottom of this. And, more importantly, we can have a better chance at explaining to America who we are as a community and our contributions to our country.
LEMON: How are they -- what are you hearing from folks there. How are they dealing with this.
SINGH: As you can imagine, there's shock. Folks are overwhelmed. But there is also a tremendous amount of gratitude for the heroic response of the Oak Creek Police Department. Obviously, our thoughts and prayers, and people's thoughts and prayers, are with that police officer who was critically-wounded and is in the hospital now. And with the families of those who've been deceased and with those who are also in the hospital.
But, it's a mixture of shock but then, also gratitude that everyone, from the President to our friends and neighbors, have reached out us and affirmed America's values and come together in this tragedy rather than being driven apart.
LEMON: Amardeep Singh, thank you very much. We appreciate it. And stay in touch with us as you go to Wisconsin tomorrow and you work with this community. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Thanks for joining us here on CNN.
SINGH: Thank you.
LEMON: Thank you. We are going to talk more about the Sikh community. My next guest is from the "CNN BELIEF BLOG." He's going to join us and share his insights next.
I'm Don Lemon. We're following "Breaking News" tonight from suburban Milwaukee. What you're looking at now is actually in downtown Milwaukee courtesy of our affiliate, WISN, a vigil.
This vigil is happening live. People have gathered here in this field. And, as you see, many of them are carrying candles. And they are here, no doubt -- no doubt, to pray for the people who were injured and who were killed at this temple today in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Of course, Oak Creek, is just south of Milwaukee. We'll continue to follow that for you.
You know, the gunman opened fire on a religious center, gurdwara, used by the city's Sikh community. He killed six people before the gun fight with police. The gunman, now also dead, and the Wisconsin town is in deep shock and mourning this evening.
As you can see, those live pictures told the story for us. I want to talk to Eric Marrapodi. He is the Co-editor of CNN's "BELIEF BLOG" on cnn.com, highly-trafficked "BELIEF BLOG." One of the most highly- trafficked in the world.
Eric, it looks like all of these shooting victims were observant Sikhs. It's a big group in America. Is it a big group in America. And do most urban areas have people who are of that faith.
ERIC MARRAPODI, CO-EDITOR, CNN'S BELIEF BLOG: Don, certainly, Sikhs are numerous globally. Twenty-five million around the world practice Sikhism. Here in the United States, it's about 700 thousand, mostly situated on the Coast.
Big populations in the Bay area, in Boston, in Washington D.C. and New York as well. In the Midwest, not as many but, of course, ethnic minorities tend to come together like this in religious observances.
And so, that's why we saw a Sikh temple there outside of Milwaukee is so popular. About 400 members in that particular temple, that gurdwara, that had started 1997. So, a long, established part of the community there in Oak Creek.
LEMON: People are asking me. They have been e-mailing me on social media asking, "Sikhs, are Sikhs like Muslims. They're not Muslims. Are they like Muslims."
And, of course, people are trying to get information because many people don't know that much about Sikhism.
MARRAPODI: Yes, it's true. There's not a whole lot of information out there in the common parlance of America about Sikhism. One of the things that's important is its own revealed religion.
It comes around -- about 500 years ago, comes out of India, comes out of the areas of Islam and of Hinduism. But it's its own unique and particular faith. And some of the things that are big identifiers for Sikhs is the men, in particular, don't cut their hair.
And that's part of their commitment and their sacrifice. And what they do is they wear turban. Now, that's not just a fashion statement as it is in other parts of the country. That's a deep part of their faith, to keep their hair uncut as a commitment to god.
And so, here in the United States, that's one of the most recognizable features of men who are observant Sikhs. Now, not all males Sikhs wear their hair long and wear the turban but many, many do here in the United States.
And so, I talked to one expert who follows hate crimes against Sikhs here in the United States and she told me that whenever we find a spike about anti-Muslim rhetoric, it's the Sikhs who often pay the price because they are the ones who look Muslim although they are not.
Because when we see terrorists like al Qaeda and the people who bastardize Islam, they often wear turbans and long beards just like the Sikhs do here in the United States and around the world.
LEMON: I want to ask you this, so do Sikhs have any traditional enemies like Hindus or Muslims who might want to do violence against Sikhs.
MARRAPODI: Well, not traditionally, and certainly not here in the United States, such a tiny minority. But, again, when we get into that anti-Muslim rhetoric, that's where we see Sikhs here in the United States facing a lot of hate crimes.
Just last year, there was another temple in Michigan that was vandalized. And it was probably mistakenly vandalized as a mosque instead of it actually being a gurdwara like we saw here.
And so, that's one of the things that a lot of us are going to be waiting for as this investigation continues to unfold. Is whether or not this particular house of worship was targeted on a basis of a hate crime or whether the person involved in the shooting thought they were targeting a mosque or other religions.
Just a horrible, horrible tragedy here at the community and all of us who followed religions are trying to get our heads around it.
LEMON: You know, we had a Sikh community leader on CNN early who said that people in his faith and, as you just mentioned a short time ago, are often misunderstood or confused with Muslim or, what he said, Taliban members.
He mentioned the turban. You talked about that. He explained why the the turban is important to the faith. My question is, are there any noticeable incidents of violence against Sikhs or any frequent targets of threats because of some of those things that he mentioned and other things as well.
MARRAPODI: Yes, particularly here in the United States after 9/11. The first retaliatory killing was in Phoenix. It was a Sikh man. And the shooter who's now, I believe, on death row said, "Go back to Iraq."
And then shot and killed this man in cold blood thinking, obviously, that he was an Arab and that he was a Muslim. Instead, this man was an Indian, of Indian descent and was a Sikh.
And so, that's one clear examples of how this hate crime has manifested itself here in the United States in the last decade or so.
LEMON: Eric Marrapodi, thank you very much. We appreciate it. We move on now. Police search the home of the suspected gunman. Live report on the investigation, next.
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LEMON: Police face chaos an carnage as a mass shooting unfolded today again. This one at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. The officer who shot and killed the suspect was wounded in the firefight.
I want to listen now to a recording of a police dispatch in Wisconsin.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not moving. We're approaching upon him. He's not moving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Subject's out, police officer is down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have one officer shot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Proceed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Squad 7512 South Hollow Avenue, subject with a gun, balding, white T-shirt, officer down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Police dispatched there. Meantime, we're getting new details on the suspect. Here's Thomas Ahern with Chicago's ATF Division.
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THOMAS AHERN, ATF AGENT: A white male, approximately 40 years of age. And that's all we have as far as his motive. We're a long way away from that right now. And as I said, the situation is still very fluid with this -- with the warrants being served right now at his residence and the scene still being processed.
There's a lot of interviews that need to be -- take place with witnesses from inside the temple and so forth and just to reconstruct the crime scene and the timeline of this is still a ways off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Special Agent Thomas Ahern with the ATF in Chicago.
Let's get more now, CNN's Deb Feyerick joins us from New York.
Deb, police are calling both the suspect's neighborhood and the area around the temple active crime scene. You heard Thomas Ahern there say white male, roughly in his 40s. We're hearing that he was bald. You're learning new information about the shooter, what do you know?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the one thing that we do know is, as you said, both of the areas are crime scenes. Authorities did evacuate homes around the home belonging to the alleged gunman. The reason they're doing that is, first of all, they have to question these neighbors anyway, but also they want to make sure that there are no other weapons or explosives in the home that could -- that could create a potential problem. That's one of the reasons they wanted to evacuate the nearby homes.
Also what we are learning that -- you know, that gunman, you have to keep in mind, he was shot dead just moments after going on this rampage inside that Sikh temple and he had opened fire and at least six people, killing them, and then he opened fire at two police officers, one of them critically wounded. He spent much of the day in surgery, in the operating room. Three others in critical condition.
One of the officers did fire back. They were able to kill that gunman. A weapon, of course, was found near him. It's described as a -- as a semi-automatic handgun.
And it's interesting, Don, you know, when you think about what was going on inside that temple. The devotees have just finished this three-day, sort of prayer celebration where they read the holy book cover to cover. It's a day where they stay up for three straight days. Food is served. Tea is served. This was honoring a child's birthday, and then this gunman walked in.
And clearly that's one of the things authorities want to know. How this gunman somehow wander into this temple? Had he been inside? Did he have a gripe against one of the members? Did he have a gripe against Sikhs in general. So that's one of the things that they're looking at by analyzing this computer data.
We are told that among the dead is one of the priests who was reading that holy book. And in what appears to be an act of bravery, the temple president tried to tackle the gunman. We're told that he was then shot in the back. He also is one of those described is in critical condition.
Right now it's very tricky because that temple is an active ongoing crime scene. The FBI is going to bring in its evidence -- evidence response team, they're going to be doing forensic analysis, they're going to be taking photographs, they're going to be sort of plotting how that gunman moved inside that temple.
And as they do that, they'll be able to at least piece together exactly what was going on because right now, they believe there was only one gunman and, you know, he is taking some of his deepest secrets to the grave with him. So he is under investigation now clearly so that they can try to find a motive.
And, Don, as you had mentioned earlier in the broadcast, there is additional security now at Sikh temples. We know certainly the one that is -- there's a second one in Wisconsin, that has additional security, as to the NYPD.
LEMON: New York, yes.
FEYERICK: The New York Police Department also saying that they're going to add additional security to some of the temples here. And again, it's a precautionary measure. There's no known threat. But clearly at this point, they just don't want to take any chances.
LEMON: And ,Deb, thank you, good reporting there. And just, you know, step back, a lot of people are releasing their statements and giving their sentiments, including the president. But you and I just a week ago were on this broadcast and I was in Aurora reporting from there on a mass shooting that happened two weeks ago, and then last night I reported that the gunman in the Gabrielle Giffords case is expected to plead guilty.
LEMON: That's according to published reports there, and then on and on and on, here we go again.
So Deb Feyerick, we should just step back and take a collective look and figure out what is going on here.
Thank you, Deb. Stand by. We'll be back with you.
As I said, president Barack Obama released a statement on today's shootings. The president saying, quote, here it is. "At this difficult time, 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 are 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."
Of course we know this is an election year so we have to get the other side in, of course, because the man who is running for the White House now, Mitt Romney, on this shooting says, "Ann and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of today's shooting in Wisconsin. This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship. Our hearts are with the victims, their families and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead."
One other response worth noting now, the governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, grew up Sikh. And she posted this statement on her Facebook page, simply saying, "It is very sad to see something like this happen to a peaceful place of worship. Our prayers and condolences go out to the families of the innocent victims and the family of the heroic officer in this senseless tragedy."
Next, we'll talk to a leader on the Sikh Council on Religion and Education to hear how the Sikh community is responding.
LEMON: I just read it a short time ago. But in his statement on the shooting, the president mentioned how the Sikh community is a part of our American family, he says. It is a community we are all learning more about and one that our next guest is a member of. His name is Rajwant Singh. He's been joining us all evening. He is the chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, and he joins us from Washington.
Thank you, again, for joining me. Again, my condolences for the tragedy which has struck your community. And I just can't imagine what you're going through and others as well who are affected by this. First, what have you heard from other Sikhs about the shooting?
RAJWANT SINGH, CHAIRMAN, SIKH COUNCIL ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION: Well, you know, there is an opinion within the Sikh community in which many of us who have been working for the Sikh affairs in the last one decade is that there is always apprehension and kind of a sense of fear that this kind of incident will take place anywhere any time. And we are totally convinced that although the investigation is going on, that this is nothing but a hate crime, a person who sees us as enemies without having background check and then ignorance has fueled this tragedy.
So this is what needs to be understood. And I think then the onus is on the leaders of this country and the media and everybody, the academics, the world, you know, How do we educate our fellow Americans?
LEMON: Right. Yes.
SINGH: How do we, you know, make people understand the diversity that America has?
LEMON: Yes. And I think it's important, too, for you to point out and I think it's very admirable of you, when so many people are saying, of course, and I've heard it, of course, Don, it's terrorism, this is terrorism. Why aren't you saying it? Is it not because -- because it's a white person, the suspect, believed to be a white person instead of a brown person? If it was a brown person, it would, of course, be terrorism. You say what to that?
SINGH: You know, when you use the world "terrorism," it has a completely different connotation. Then when you call it a hate crime, then it involves everybody taking a responsibility, whether it's the school system, whether it's the political leadership, whether it's the media. You know, all the nonprofit work. Everybody needs to do something to lessen this kind of rage and this kind of action being taken by young people.
Of course, there are other reasons where -- there are no reasons why people pick up a gun and shoot innocent people. We have seen in the last two years, three years, and it's tragic to see so much killing and tragedy occurring, whether it's the Aurora or it's in Virginia Tech. But this particular incident links back to 9/11, and I think that's where our community's problem come, is where we find that there is very little exposure to people like us, so that people, you know, at large and Americans can understand who we are. We are side victims of this whole tragedy which has unraveled since 9/11 in America.
LEMON: Mr. Singh, let me -- let get in here. As we look at there are pictures of a vigil in downtown Milwaukee now, not far from Oak Creek. And this is how this community is coming together. Talk more about that. Because you're sitting here, and this tragic thing has happened and we commend you. You're, you know, very level headed. You're very calm. But personally, after 9/11, as a human, talk to me about your feelings about that.
And listen, and being confused as Muslim, not all Muslims, of course, are terrorists.
SINGH: Absolutely. LEMON: And so we should not -- they should, you know, not be pegged with that label, but as a human being and seeing this happen, what are you feeling and what's going on with the Sikh community?
SINGH: Well, you know, we've gone through this period for a long time. I remember when Balbir Singh Sodhi, the -- one of the first Sikh who was killed as a hate crime after 9/11, and it was -- he was being referred as an Arab being killed in Mesa, Arizona. So I corrected the national media that please stop saying Arab because then they're going to go after every person who's wearing a turban, considering him -- it's a sad thing that even I have to sit here and say that we are not Arabs or we are not Taliban.
You know, this shouldn't happen. Nobody should be going after Muslims or anybody. You know, whatever is happening in the Middle East or the issues, those are totally separate. People are living in America trying to have their best of life, whatever ways or means they are doing here.
So the point is that we -- the young people who have grown up as Sikhs in this country, they are Americans. They believe strongly for this nation.
SINGH: And yet they feel when these things happen, it -- it goes in the mind, where do we belong?
SINGH: And that is a tragedy for all Americans.
LEMON: And --
SINGH: I think everybody should feel at home, that this belongs to -- this nation belongs to everyone. This --
LEMON: Rajwant Singh --
LEMON: That is a great way of putting it. We're going to end it there but not your coming back, you'll be on in our 10:00 hour. But we appreciate your sentiments. Very well put. I think that' s a great place to leave it for now. Thank you. And I think that the reason we have been talking to you and spending so much time with people of the Sikh community and with Rajwant is because education is the most powerful tool against this, learning about each other and just talking as we are now.
Appreciate it. We'll see you soon. Thank you, sir.
SINGH: Thank you.
LEMON: You know, we're learning more information about what happened today and more about the alleged shooter. The latest on what we know, straight ahead.
LEMON: Today's shooting outside Milwaukee happened before lunchtime, about 10:30 local time. That's when a man carrying two handguns walked into that Sikh temple filled with people praying and cooking, and he started shooting. Initially, there was confusion. Nobody knew how many gunmen were in the temple, and nobody knew for sure when the coast was clear.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Approximately 10:25 a.m. Oak Creek dispatch received an unintelligible 911 call from someone who was reporting an incident.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are all victims of gunshot wounds. One suffered injuries to the abdomen and chest. One suffered injuries to the extremities and face. And one suffered injuries to the neck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What the police are trying to do on the outside is try to bring some stabilization to the situation by showing that they've got it contained and then to try to make contact as early as possible. It's an old saying in a hostage negotiation business. While someone is talking, they're not going to be shooting.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The FBI will be handling the criminal investigation on this incident. We looked at it, the scope of it, and what the implications might be. We're treating this as a domestic terrorist type incident. And therefore, the FBI has the resources needed to help investigate that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: When we come right back, analysis from a veteran law enforcement officer.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.
LEMON: Seven people dead. The shooting at a temple in Wisconsin. New information coming now from our Deborah Feyerick in New York.
Deb, what can you tell us?
FEYERICK: The hospital is the Froedtert and Medical College of Wisconsin. They're the trauma center that received the three critically injured patients. All of them suffering from gunshot wounds. We're told that two of the patients are out of surgery, and they are recovering. We are told another is undergoing a complex set of procedures. We do not know which of the patients is still in surgery. We do know that there was a police officer who was essentially ambushed by the gunman as he ran from that temple. That officer shot multiple times. This was a man who apparently had nothing to lose because not only did he shoot at this police officer, but he also shot at another police officer who ultimately fired the fatal shot, killing that gunman -- Don.
LEMON: All right. CNN's Deborah Feyerick with -- in New York.
Deb, also, real quickly, we're learning more about this suspected shooter. Again, a man in his 40s, right? Correct, Deb? Are you still there?
FEYERICK: Correct, yes. Sorry about that.
LEMON: A man in his 40s and you talked about the handgun that was -- just quickly, one handgun. Both of the guns found semiautomatic according to our sources?
FEYERICK: Yes, there were two handguns that were found but it's believed that one of those guns belonged to the police officer. The other did belong to the gunman. He is described, a white man in his 40s, balding, tall. He was not somebody who was known to the community. That was according to somebody who helped debrief some of the witnesses. His home is now being searched.
But yes, that handgun was recovered. You have to think about how this is all playing out, also, in terms of the number of shots. You have six people who are shot and killed. OK. That was -- you have two others critically wounded, even before the police officers shot. A normal semiautomatic gun, handgun, usually holds anywhere between 11 and 14 bullets. So it's not clear whether he went through one magazine or two magazines.
And when I did speak to one of the ATF folks there on the ground, that person told me that they -- he was not sure whether there were additional magazines that were found in his sort of black cargo style pants.
LEMON: And -- all right, Deb. Stand by because we're going to get more on that.
Let's go now to Alex Manning, former police investigator and law enforcement veteran here. You heard what -- about the shooter, you heard about what she said about the guns. Do you agree -- do you agree with what she said about the guns and getting off those rounds?
ALEX MANNING, 15 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT: Sure, he could have had an extended magazine, too. They're not -- they're only sold to law enforcement right now but prior to them being banned -- everybody except law enforcement, someone could have one of those (INAUDIBLE).
LEMON: And just in full transparency here, we have been -- when these situations happen, we just -- as I said, we're just off the Aurora shooting, two weeks, right?
MANNING: Right. LEMON: That happened. And of course this always go into the gun control debate. And people are saying, if not now, when are we going to talk about gun control? And then there are others who say, let's not, let's talk about the victims and the investigation. This is nothing to do with it. As a veteran, what do you think?
MANNING: I own guns myself, Don. And I think there is going to be a time to talk about gun control. Gun control is out there. And it protects those people that are good, law-abiding people. I don't think necessarily now is the time to talk about gun control as much as what you're doing. Educating people. The more you educate the people, the better. That's what people need, education.
LEMON: OK. Real quickly, I've got to move on, but as you're looking -- the first thing you said they're going to look at his computer, and that's going to give them a lot of information, you believe, about the suspected shooter.
MANNING: I think it is. He's dead. They've got to get the information somewhere. And if you look in somebody's computer you can look at their search history and what they type, you can find out tons of information about them.
LEMON: All right. Alex Manning, thank you very much. We appreciate that.
We're going continue to talk about this. We have Alex. We've got Deb Feyerick. Also Eric Marrapodi and also other contributors here on CNN. We're right back after a break. Don't go anywhere.