New York: The man who staged a gruesome shootout at Gurdwara in Wisconsin, killing six people, was finally been identified on Monday, as Wade Michael Page, a former psychological operations specialist in US Army, who was linked to white racist groups.
Page, who was a white Army veteran in his 40's, was shot dead by a police officer yesterday after he opened fire at the Gurdwara, killing six and wounding four others.
The gunman carried out the shootings with a legally owned 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which was recovered by the officials from the site.
Page served in the US Army from April 1992 and October 1998,said police chief John Edwards. Authorities say he was discharghed from the Army in 1998 for "patterns of misconduct".
In June 1998 he was disciplined for being drunk on duty and had his rank reduced to specialist from sergeant.
Page is said to have been on the radar of civil rights organisations as he had 'white supremacist links'.
The officials at the civil rights organisation Southern Poverty Law Centre said that they had been tracking Page for about a decade because of his ties to the white supremacist movement and described him as a "a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band."
The civil rights organisation also informed about Page being a member of a skinhead band, End Apathy, which he joined in 2005.
The centre's officials said he played guitar and sang vocals for a band called 'End Apathy', which was started in 2005.
"This guy was in the thick of the white supremacist music scene and, in fact, played with some of the best known racist bands in the country," a senior fellow at the centre Mark Potok said.
"The music that comes from these bands is incredibly violent and it talks about murdering Jews, black people, gay people and a whole host of other enemies. It is music that could not be sold over the counter around the country," he said.
The shooter lived in a rented apartment in the town of Cudahy, which was searched by police hours after the shooting in Milwaukee's Oak Creek suburb.
Kurt Weins, who rented the house to the shooter, said that the man appeared to be a loner, Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.
According to eyewitness, the shooter had a "9/11 tattoo" on his arm. The authorities are treating the attack as a possible act of "domestic terrorism".
"The definition of domestic terrorism is the use of force or violence for social or political gain, so that's obviously what we're looking at," FBI special agent Teresa Carlson said at a news conference on Monday.
Authorities were also probing Page's links to white supremacists and agents were interviewing his family and associates.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Monday, August 06, 2012, 15:36