The man who allegedly opened fire in a Sikh temple in the US, killing six people, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head rather than from police fire, the FBI said on Wednesday.
Wade Michael Page, a singer with a neo-Nazi punk band, was initially said to have been killed by a police officer who stopped Sunday’s rampage in a suburban place of worship by shooting the assailant in the stomach.
However, FBI Special Agent Teresa Carlson, head of the agency’s Milwaukee office and leader of the investigation, said: “Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”
Carlson told reporters that FBI investigators have not yet established a motive for the shootings in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and have not found any evidence that anyone else other than Page was involved.
She also confirmed that Wade’s former girlfriend, Misty Cook, was arrested on Sunday at her home on a weapons charge, but said this was unconnected to the broader domestic terrorism investigation into the temple shooting.
In South Milwaukee, police and FBI agents were interviewing Cook after the temple attack and noticed that she had a weapon despite being banned from owning a firearm because of a previous felony conviction, Carlson said.
Investigators have interviewed more than 100 people, including Page’s family, associates, employers and neighbors, and were pursuing more than 100 new leads, Carlson said.
The gunman, who was a singer in a so-called “white power” band, seems to have drifted from job to job since leaving the US Army in 1998, and local media reported that he described non-whites as “dirt people.”
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to offer his condolences over the shooting.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama paid tribute in the call to the contributions of the Sikh community in the US and that the two leaders spoke of their shared commitment to tolerance and religious freedom.