Before he strode into a Sikh temple yesterday with a 9mm handgun and multiple magazines of ammunition, Wade Michael Page played in white supremacist heavy metal bands with names such as Definite Hate and End Apathy.
Members of the Sikh community are still in shock.
Amardeep Kaleka's father was the president of the Oak Creek temple. Speaking to mourners, Kaleka reminisced about his father, who had come to America with $100 in his pocket to escape martial law imposed on the Sikhs in northern India. "He worked his behind off, 18 hours a day, in some of the worst neighborhoods you've ever seen." His father tried to rush the gunman and protect others, losing his life.
Page killed six Sikhs attending a Sunday service before being shot and killed by police. He had shot an officer at close range, who is now in the hospital.
Authorities say that Page served in the Army for six years until he was discharged in 1998. The Southern Poverty Law Center linked him to white supremacist groups. "We know that he has traversed some of the most violent parts of the white supremacist scene, namely, the racist skinhead music scene," Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center said. "He had his own band called the End to Apathy. He played in other extremist bands that are like that."
The FBI has taken notice of the Southern Poverty Law Center's research and is now looking at Page's ties to white supremacist groups.
Page lived about five miles away from the Sikh temple. His neighbors said he was a quiet man who did not socialize much.
Very little is known about Page's motives for attacking an American religious minority.