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Gurudwara shooting victims were deeply religious

August 06, 2012 16:09 IST

The six victims of the senseless shootout at a Gurudwara in Wisconsin, United States, including its president and a priest, have been described as loving, dedicated and deeply religious people.

When a gunman opened fire at the gurudwara in Oak Creek on Sunday, Satwant Kaleka tried to attack the shooter outside the temple, his son said.

We are concerned not scared, say Sikhs

Wounded in his lower extremities, Kaleka, 65, made it inside, hid with others in a room, and died there.

"It was like a second home to him," Amardeep Kaleka said of his father's love for the temple. "He was the kind of person who, if he got a call that a bulb was out at 2 am, he'd go over to change it," the son was quoted as saying by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.

Lahwinder Singh, a member of the community, said the president "brought everyone together. He just wanted to make a good temple, a good community."

After more than 10 hours of waiting, including hours inside the basement of a nearby bowling alley, family members began learning the fate of loved ones from officials late Sunday. Authorities began calling out the names of waiting family members to talk to them in a private area.

"It's hard to describe the scene. People were crying and hugging each other," said Ben Boba Ri, an official with the temple was quoted as saying in the report.

Among those killed was Parkash Singh, a priest who was described as quiet and gentle.

"He was a good guy, a noble soul," said Manminder Sethi, a dentist who is a member of the temple.

Parkash Singh had been an assistant priest at the temple for six or seven years, said Gurcharan Grewal, president of the Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin.

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