Police: Sikh Temple Shooting Being Handled as Domestic Terrorism, FBI Taking Over Investigation

An ambulance drives down Howell Ave SWAT officers surround the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin where at least one gunman fired upon people at a service. (Photo: Getty Images)

OAK CREEK, Wis. (AP) — Police in Wisconsin say the FBI will handle the investigation of shootings at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee.

Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards says the case is being treated as a domestic terrorism case and the FBI is better equipped to handle that.

Here is Edwards’ explanation:

Edwards added during the news conference Sunday afternoon that seven people are dead, including the suspected shooter, and three people are wounded. One of those is a police officer shot by the suspect.

According to JS Online out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a congressional letter in April urged the FBI to track hate crimes against Sikhs:

Ninety-two members of U.S. Congress signed a letter to the Department of Justice in April urging the FBI to collect information on hate crimes committed against Sikh Americans, according to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.)

Crowley’s Web page says Sikh Americans are members of a community “that is acutely susceptible to violence because of their appearance.”

“The more information our law enforcement agencies have on violence against Sikh-Americans, the more they can do to help prevent these crimes and bring those who commit them to justice,” Crowley says in a statement posted on his Web page.

“The Department of Justice and FBI have carried out important outreach efforts in coalition with the Sikh community, but these efforts must also be paired with data collection to ensure we are doing everything possible,” it says.

The shootings happened about 10:30 a.m. as people were gathering for a service at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, which is just south of Milwaukee.