Metro Atlanta, Nation Reacts to Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting
A member of the local temple called the Sunday tragedy "a crime against humanity."
Seven people have been killed and at least three others wounded in a Sunday morning shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
The incident, which occured about 12 miles from Milwaukee in Oak Creek, is being treated as domestic terrorism, officials said Sunday.
Local police told reporters that the gunman was among the deceased, who apparently acted alone. Three people are in critical condition.
Do you practice the Sikh religion or know anyone that was affected by the Wisconsin shooting? Tell us in the comments.
Surinder Singh, head of public relations at a Sikh temple in Norcross called the Guru Nanak Mission Society of Atlanta, said the congregation has a special prayer for those killed and wounded.
"We're definitely feeling concerned," said Singh about his temple, located at 1158 Rockbridge Road. "But it's not about Sikhs, it's not about Hindus, it's not about anything. It's all about a crime against humanity. Being humans, we should be all concerned."
The Sikh Educational Welfare Association (SEWA) Gurudwara Sahib congregation in Roswell also is thinking and praying for everyone affected by the Wisconsin shooting.
"Our heart goes out to all those who were shot and the families of those who died," said Parvinder Singh, who handles public relations for SEWA. "We sincerely hope and pray that those who've suffered have the god-given strength to go on with their lives."
Speaking to Roswell Patch, he also praised the first-responding police officer who is credited in early reports with deescalating the situation.
Sikh members of Oak Creek are obviously stunned and shocked. A member of the Wisconsin congregation told Oak Creek Patch:
"This is disgraceful for the community and the whole world. People come here to worship, pray and express their feelings to God. It's sad that this happened here, and I hope those victimized don't lose their faith in God."
Across the nation, many other communities also are responding to the tragic act. In New York, for example, police increased its coverage in and around Sikh temples in the city.
And, in nearby South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley, whose parents are practicing Sikhs, posted this message on her Facebook Page:
"It's very sad to see something like this happen to a peaceful place of worship. Our prayers and condolences go out to the families of the innocent victims and the family of the heroic officer in this senseless tragedy," Haley said via her Facebook page.
President Barack Obama also issued a statement:
"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded."
For more updates on the Sikh shooting in Wisconsin, go to the Oak Creek Patch.