NEWS

B.C. Sikhs alarmed by Wisconsin 'neo-Nazi' attack

08/06/2012 06:47 EDT | Updated 10/06/2012 05:12 EDT
Members of the Lower Mainland Sikh community are shaken by news that a shooter who killed six people at a Wisconsin temple appears to be connected to a white supremacist group.

Wade Michael Page, 40, was a “frustrated neo-Nazi” who led a white supremacist music band for more than a decade, according to the U.S.-based civil rights organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center.

B.C. Sikhs expressed alarm at Page's supremacist ideology.

"It's unfortunate that these kinds of people [still exist]... Everybody right now is thinking that if this could happen here today, it could happen here tomorrow,” Bikramjit Singh Sandher, president of Surrey's Guru Nanak Sikh temple told the CBC.

The Surrey temple has also been touched by racial hatred. In 1998, caretaker Nirmal Singh Gill was beaten to death by skinheads in the temple's parking lot.

The five men were eventually convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 12-15 years in prison.

Sandher says Lower Mainland temples will consider stepping up security in the wake of the shooting near Milwaukee.

Six people were killed and three others were injured when Page walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, and opened fire on Sunday.

Page, a US Army veteran, later died in a shootout with police after firing at least eight times on one officer, leaving him in critical condition.

Police and the FBI are investigating the motive behind the killing rampage.

Sikh temples in Metro Vancouver are holding memorial services on Tuesday night for the victims of the shooting.

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