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Tense day for Sikh Temple members as they wait for information

OAK CREEK, Wisconsin (WITI) –  For family members and Sikh Temple members at the scene of Sunday morning’s Oak Creek shooting, the day was filled with tension as they waited for information regarding the whereabouts and condition of their loved ones.

Police said Sunday, Aug. 5 seven people are dead, including a gunman, and three others are injured following a shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek.

It’s an incident officials are now calling an “act of domestic terrorism,” and the FBI is now leading the investigation.

Minutes after the gunman opened fire around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, members of Wisconsin’s Sikh community began receiving phone calls.

“I slept over at my friend’s house, she got the call in the morning and jumped out of bed. I heard a lot of screaming and then got up and asked what’s going on. She said her mother was being held hostage in the temple,” Sikh Temple member Harinder Kaur said.

A morning of uncertainty and terror began for Kaur Sunday morning. In a parking lot across from the temple, dozens of other Sikh worshippers gathered. Some were overcome by knowledge loved ones were inside. All were desperate for information.

Police later announced the gunman was dead, along with six others.
Friends and family at the scene pushed officials to find out who the victims were, and how many others were still inside.

“Two of the (temple leaders) who are like priests, basically, have died. One as he was going to his car and one was killed in his room,” one Sikh temple member at the scene told WITI-TV.

As temple members tried to find out more about the victims, they asked other questions, including — why would someone do this?

“We don’t do nothing. We respect each other. Everyone works in the community. That’s scary, you know,” one temple member said.

Police say the investigation into this incident is ongoing. They plan to release more information Monday morning, Aug. 5.