WASHINGTON: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said that it is investigating whether the shooting at a gurdwara in the US is an act of “domestic” terrorism.
“While the FBI is investigating whether this matter might be an act of domestic terrorism, no motive has been determined at this time,” the FBI Milwaukee special agent-in-charge Teresa Carlson said in a late night statement, hours after the local police termed the tragic incident as an act of domestic terrorism.
The FBI is working closely with the Oak Creek Police department and other local and federal agencies to investigate Sunday’s shooting incident, Carlson said.
The country’s premier investigative agency has launched an in-depth investigation into the shooting incident in which at least seven people including the alleged shooter was killed, that sent shocked waves throughout the country.
“We know our community has been deeply impacted by this incident, and our thoughts are with those affected and particularly with the officer who was wounded in the line of duty to protect others,” the FBI said.
While the name of the alleged gunman has not been released yet, Thomas Ahern, a spokesman with the ATF’s Chicago division, described him as a white male roughly 40 years of age, CNN has reported.
The motive of the shooting has not been determined yet, even as security authorities late on Sunday surrounded a duplex in Cudahy neighbourhood, where the shooter apparently lived.
Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News the suspected gunman had no obvious connection to domestic terror or white supremacist groups and apparently was not on any list of suspected terrorists. The suspect was in his early 40s, and while he had an arrest record, it was for minor traffic offenses, a federal official said, NBC reported.
A law enforcement official told NBC News the gunman was dressed in a white T-shirt and black tactical-style pants, which had several pockets for holding ammunition magazines. He was armed with a single handgun, the official said.
Though the name of the gunman was not released but police say they have a tentative ID and were searching his home. The location was not disclosed, the news channel said.
Officials told the news channel that the alleged shooter, who served in the US Army, had many tattoos.
Obama takes stock of situation
US President Barack Obama reviewed the security situation with his top national security aides following the tragic shooting in a gurdwara in Wisconsin and also called on gurdwara trustee to offer his condolences.
Obama convened a call with the FBI Director Robert Mueller, the chief of staff Jack Lew, and the homeland security advisor John Brennan on Sunday to receive an update on the tragic shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the White House said.
Following the briefing, the Obama called Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, Oak Creek mayor Steve Scaffidi and trustee of the gurdwara Charanjeet Singh to express his condolences for the lives lost and his concern for those who were injured.
A tragic day, say US lawmakers
Condemning the gurdwara shooting in Wisconsin as a “senseless” act of terrorism, the US lawmakers have termed it as a “tragic” day.
“This is a tragic day for our city and for all communities of faith who share grief and concern for the victims of today’s shooting and their loved ones,” Wisconsin senator, Herb Kohl said in a statement.
“We also share a deep gratitude to our law enforcement officers. Our prayers are with Milwaukee’s entire Sikh community and we wish them comfort and peace,” the senator said.
“Ou thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of yet another senseless act of violence in America,” senator Ron Johnson said.
Johnson said that he have full confidence in the legal authorities that will be investigating this heinous crime.