New York: Morning prayers at a Gurudwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin were disrupted on Sunday, when few gunmen opened fire, killing at least seven and injuring more than 20, including a police official who was shot at several times.
One of the suspect was among the seven killed.
According to initial reports, there were many shooters involved, which were on the loose inside the Gurudwara.
Police say, that around 300 were yet inside the building and a SWAT team had entered the Gurudwara to rescue the remaining worshippers.
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.
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 said over phone that police officials are at the scene.
The Gurudwara, which was built about 6-7 years ago, 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.
The shooting at the Sikh temple comes less than a month after James Holmes killed 12 people during the screening of "the Drak Knight Rises" in a Colorado theater.
With PTI inputs
First Published: Sunday, August 05, 2012, 22:34