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Rediff.com  » News » Shooting in Wisconsin Gurudwara during morning prayers

Shooting in Wisconsin Gurudwara during morning prayers

Last updated on: August 06, 2012 00:14 IST

At least one gunman opened fire at a Gurudwara in Wisconsin, United States during morning prayers on Sunday injuring up to 20 people, some seriously, amid reports that children have been taken as hostages.

 

The shooting at Oak Creek, just south of Wisconsin's biggest city Milwaukee, occurred at around 11 am (local time), the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.

Oak Creek is about 1,250 km from New York.

 

Two men have been admitted to Froedtert hospital, CNN said quoting a hospital spokeswoman.


One is in critical condition in the surgical intensive care unit while the other has been sent to an operating room, it said.

 

The Milwaukee Sentinel reported that two shooters are possibly still inside the Gurudwara with children as hostages.

Being a Sunday, the Gurudwara was likely to have been crowded.

 

Oak Creek police, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies have responded. The police has not given out any further details.

 

Initial reports said a witness to the shooting told law enforcement agents that the shooter was of a heavy build, bald white male wearing a sleeveless T-shirt.

 

He was last seen with two handguns.

 

Two witnesses said the shooter or shooters were still inside the building.

 

A dispatcher at the Oak Creek police department told PTI over phone that police officials are at the scene.

 

They do not yet have any information on the suspect and how many people have been injured.

 

About 300 to 400 people were reported to be at the Gurudwara, built about 6-7 years ago, and is spread over an expansive area.

 

More than a dozen ambulances have been parked outside the temple.

 

A Sikh priest had specially come from India to address the gathering on Sunday.

 

Media reports said about 12 children have been held hostages. The president of the temple is also reportedly shot and has been rushed to the hospital, they said.

 

A police spokesman said a law enforcement officer was shot multiple times by the unidentified shooter, who was "put down". It was not immediately known if the shooter was injured or killed.


"We do not know if there are additional shooters at the temple," he said. The officer has been transported to hospital and was expected to survive.

 

The spokesman said tactical operations are ongoing and that the situation was "very fluid".

 

Police said another shooter could be inside the Gurudwara.

 

According to the Milwaukee Sentinel, the head priest of the Gurudwara was locked inside a restroom with a cell phone.

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