MSA Intel

Overview Active Shooter - Wisconsin

Yesterday, at approximately 1025 am CDT, a shooting occurred at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, south of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan. The shooting happened shortly before Sunday services were set to begin.  The gunman started shooting in the parking lot and then entered the temple.  Seven people were killed, including the gunman, and three were injured. The suspect is identified as 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran who may have had ties to white supremacist groups; reports indicate that his tattoos may have reflected this type of affiliation.  At this time, the motive is still being investigated. This active shooter incident is also being described as a potential case of “domestic terrorism.”

Key Points

  • The weapon used in the shooting was a 9 millimeter, semi-automatic handgun. There was only one gunman involved in the incident.
  • The suspect was granted a general discharge from the army following his troubling military enlistment. He had a history of alcohol abuse.


There has been an increase in lone gunman incidents because small arms are accessible and easier to utilize as a tactic.  Soft targets are more vulnerable to these types of attacks as their security infrastructure is less stringent. Additionally, this attack scenario allows for a stronger likelihood of casualties in a relatively short period of time.  There was little history of violence targeting the Sikh community in Wisconsin.  However, there has been a rise in anti-Sikh sentiment in recent years, possibly because Sikh practitioners are often confused with members of the Muslim community.  They have been the victim of multiple hate crimes in other cities nationwide.  As a result of yesterday’s shooting, there has been a rise in security measures at Sikh affiliated facilities.

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