The Sikh temple killer death ruled a suicide
THE man who killed six Sikh worshippers at a Wisconsin temple had a history of alcohol problems and underwent a noticeable personality change in the preceding year, according to an investigative report.
Wade Page’s sister told investigators he had developed a bloated appearance that made her wonder if he had been drinking, according to the report that was released on Tuesday.
Kimberly Van Buskirk also said she noticed her brother become more intense over the past year, as if he had lost his wit and sense of humour. He took everything literally, she said.
Page, 40, opened fire on August 5 before a service at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee. He killed six people and wounded four before he was shot in the abdomen by police. He died after he shot himself in the head.
The Milwaukee medical examiner’s office, which released the investigative report, officially ruled his death a suicide.
Page’s sister told authorities her brother did not use drugs but had a history of alcohol problems.
Online court records show Page had a history of drunken driving and a 1994 arrest in Texas after he got drunk and kicked holes in the wall of a bar.
The FBI and local authorities are still trying to work out Page’s motive. He had ties to white supremacy groups and had broken up with his girlfriend.
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards joined the mayor and fire chief at a lunch meeting where they discussed the emergency response to the shooting rampage.
One temple member asked why police took more than 12 hours to release the victims’ identities, while their relatives agonised in uncertainty. Edwards said police had limited options.
He noted that police legally could not touch dead bodies until the medical examiner had released them. So, so even though one FBI agent at the scene was a temple member who knew victims by face, that agent could do nothing to identify those who died face-down.
A police officer who was shot nine times during the incident was released from hospital last week.
Edwards said he was hit in the throat and could speak only in a whisper. To protect his voice, he communicates by typing.
“He’s probably going to have permanent injuries,” Edwards said.
Three worshippers were wounded, and one remained in critical condition.