FBI says Gurdwara gunman shot himself in head
New York: The gunman who killed six people at a Gurdwara in Wisconsin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head after he was shot by police, the FBI announced today and said it was still treating the case as an "act of domestic terrorism".
Wade Michael Page, 40, a former US soldier and a singer with a neo-Nazi punk band, was initially said to have been killed by a police officer who challenged him as he went on shooting spree at the Gurdwara.
"Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was first shot by an officer in the stomach that injured him," Special Agent Teresa Carlson, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Milwaukee office, said in a press conference in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Carlson said investigators had videotape related to the officer shooting Page. The officer shot Page in the stomach and "subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head."
The FBI is working round the clock on the investigation. "We have not identified anyone else responsible for the shooting," Carlson, also the leader of the investigation, said.
Police said Page acted alone, but they distributed a photo of the man, saying they wanted to identify and question him.
"The photo helped authorities to find the man, who was cooperative and continuing to cooperate," Carlson said.
"We have not clearly defined a motive at this point and the case is still being treated as an act of domestic terrorism," she said.
The law enforcement agents have conducted 100 interviews nationwide of families, associates and neighbours of Page. It has issued 180 federal subpeonas and has 101 leads pending worldwide. It recovered 139 items from the parking lot and also going through emails and telephone accounts of Page.
The video camera inside the Gurdwara was not on and so the FBI does not have any video coverage of the shooting inside the place of worship, she said.
Earlier, US authorities arrested Page's ex-girlfriend Misty Cook for the offence of being in possession of a fire arm as a felon.
But, Carlson said her arrest is not related to the shooting incident.
"Cause of arrest of Misty Cook, Page's girlfriend, not related to the shooting and has no relation to the investigation."
South Milwaukee Police and FBI agents were interviewing Cook after the earlier attack and noticed that she had a weapon despite being banned from owning a firearm because of a previous felony conviction, Carlson said.
The dead in the shooting included temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was shot as he tried to fend off the shooter with a butter knife. Page wounded a responding police officer in the parking lot before another officer shot Page.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, an NGO monitoring hate groups, has described Page as a "frustrated neo-Nazi" who participated in the white-power music scene, playing in bands called Definite Hate and End Apathy.
If investigators conclude Page was motivated by racist ideology, that might lead police to accomplices and prevent future attacks.
"We are looking at -- we're interviewing everybody. So it's not so much a zeroing in. We're looking for any possible motive, and right now we still don't have one," Carlson said.
When asked if Page worked at a restaurant a block away from the temple, she said, it is possible.
"It's possible, but again, we're looking at -- you know, at motives that we just don't know," she said, adding that the FBI has not found any note of the suspect during its investigations so far.
"The temple consists of several rooms -- over 16,000 square feet -- that need to be meticulously searched."
The FBI is also combing through Department of Transportation traffic videos, neighborhood security videos.
"We have conducted physical searches of his residence, his vehicle, a rented storage locker and also a space he had at a former employer," she said.
However, the Oak Creek Police chief John Edwards said that there is squad video.
"Eventually that will be released at the proper time," he told reporters.
"I want to reiterate again that after all of this work, we still have identified no one else responsible for the shooting other than him. We also have not clearly defined a motive at this point," said the FBI officer.
The evidence indicates that the second responding officer, who shot Page in the stomach, thereby neutralizing the threat.
"By the way, I've seen the video. It is an amazing shot, and thank goodness. Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," Carlson said.