Ill. Sikh communities keep doors open after Wisc. shooting - FOX 32 News Chicago

Ill. Sikh communities keep doors open after Wisc. shooting

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Palatine's Sikh Religious Society held onto candles and onto hope Monday night, in the aftermath of the deadly shootings at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee.

"The grief is, this is too much to grieve because those injured they bled to death," Sukhdev Kaur Ghumen, President of the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine said.

A vigil mourning those who loss their lives in the senseless attack was filled with prayers for the victims and those touched by the tragedy.

Police in Wisconsin called Sunday's shootings at a Sikh temple domestic terrorism.

Six people were killed and three others were wounded when a man opened fire. The gunman was killed during a shootout with police.

"We're praying for strength of the holy community as the Sikh American community and as American community as a whole," Ghumen said.

Heavy hearts filled the crowd inside the Palatine place of worship - at one point this was the only Gurdwara in the Mid-west.

Sikh communities, politicians and complete strangers united as new details about the accused shooter, 40-year-old Wade Page, emerged.

Disturbing details about Page's profile describe a suspected white supremacist that was discharged from the army.

The ATF told FOX Chicago News it's investigating the meaning behind a mosaic of tattoos found on Wade's body.

"That aspect of the investigation is still ongoing also. We've received that information, we're trying to verify it," Thomas Ahern, a special agent with the ATF said.

"Seems like he was not understanding of other humans," Ghumen said. "He made that horrific decision to kill others - what was going on in his head? I have no idea about that but that was not the right thought whatever he had, that he had to kill people to convey his, whatever message he has."

The message in Palatine was one of love, hope and peace.

Devon Avenue is usually known for the Indian and Pakistani communities in Chicago. The Sikh community is part of this community.

They held regular prayers Monday at 2341 W. Devon in Chicago, home to the city's only Sikh Gurdwara. They did their five daily prayers and said special prayers for the victims and families in Milwaukee.

The Sikh policy is to welcome anyone who enters, without regard to caste, creed or religion. That might have made the Wisconsin congregation vulnerable, though it's not known what motivated that shooting. Local Sikh Americans said they believe the violence was random.

Ranjeet Singh, a Sikh American, compared it to the Colorado theatre shooting, saying at times like this in America, people can't take the pressure.

"It was shocking. Very tragic. Very unheard of," Singh said. "We are very peaceful community. We work for the good causes of the community and when I heard what happened yesterday it was pretty shocking."

While there are several Sikh houses of worship in the suburbs, there's only one in the city of Chicago. Ranjeet said despite the events in Wisconsin Sunday, people are still welcome to worship.

"Doors are always open at the Sikh temples," Ranjeet said. "Anybody without cast, creed or color are welcome here. It's a place of worship. Spiritual and meditation and worship."

There were vigils scheduled at Gurdwaras around the area Monday night. Some considered whether to put in security around the houses of worship.

Law enforcement in Palatine and Chicago confirmed they would step up patrols around Sikh temples.

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