UPDATE: The FBI has cleared the person of interest of having anything to do with the shooting, according to the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Police said Monday they are seeking a second person in connection to the shooting assault on a Sikh temple that left six people dead and an officer in critical condition, but did not comment on civil rights groups’ allegations about the primary suspect’s past.
According to The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued a report describing 40-year-old Wade Michael Page as “a frustrated Neo-Nazi” who led a white-power music group and had been a part of that scene since 2000. Page was shot and killed at the scene by police.
“We’re looking at him as a single shooter right now,” said Oak Creek police Chief John Edwards said of Page, adding that authorities were seeking another man, an unidentified white male spotted filming residents near the scene on his phone, bearing a 9/11-themed tattoo like Page’s on his right arm. Anyone with information on the man is asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.
Edwards also released the names of the people Page allegedly shot while inside the temple: Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; Satwant Singh Kalka, 65; Prakash Singh, 39; Suveg Singh, 84; and Paramjit Kaur, 41 and the only woman killed. Two officers remain hospitalized after the attack, though police have only released the name of the officer who first encountered Page, Lt. Brian Murphy. Murphy was shot multiple times and is in critical condition, but Edwards said he is expected to survive.
The SPLC said it had been tracking Page since 2000, when he attempted to purchase items from a hate group, the National Alliance. Portions of a book depicting a revolution and race war in the U.S. by the Alliance’s leader, William Pierce were found in Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh’s car following his attack on that city’s federal building in 1995.
Another human-rights group, Responsible for Equality And Liberty (R.E.A.L.), said Page promoted his band, End Apathy, on Stormfront, a white supremacist website.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said Monday her organization did not have an active investigation on Page prior to Sunday night.
“There may be references to him in various files and those are being analyzed right now,” Carlson said. “No law enforcement agency had any reason to believe he was planning or capable of such violence.”
The Associated Press reports that Page had served in the Army as a repairman for the Hawk missile system before becoming a specialist in the psychological operations division. The U.S. Army website says a specialist is “primarily responsible for the analysis, development and distribution of intelligence used for information and psychological effect.”
Watch video of the person of interest sought in the case posted by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Aug. 6 below: