The man suspected of opening fire on Sunday in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., was identified as Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old former member of the U.S. Army, police said on Monday......
A U.S. Army spokeswoman told Yahoo News that Page served from April 1992 until October 1998 as a member of the psychological operations unit
. He was never deployed, but was awarded numerous medals, including two for good conduct and one for humanitarian service. Page, a Colorado native, received basic training in Fort Sill, Okla., moved to Fort Bliss in Texas and finished at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A psychological operations specialist is "primarily responsible for the analysis, development and distribution of intelligence used for information and psychological effect
," according to the U.S. Army website.
According to Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards, Lt. Brian Murphy, a 51-year-old officer, was the first to arrive at the temple shortly after 10:25 a.m. Sunday. He began to render aid to one of the victims in the parking lot when he was "ambushed," Edwards said. Murphy was shot 8 or 9 times at close range with a handgun, Edwards said. Other officers exchanged gunfire with Page after they arrived, Edwards said, killing him. The officers then found Murphy in the parking lot. "He waved them off, and told them to go into the temple to assist those in there," Edwards said. Murphy was carried to a squad car and rushed to Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital where he underwent surgery. Three shooting victims, including the officer, are listed in critical condition at the hospital.
Page was discharged from the army in 1998 for "patterns of misconduct," according to CNN, citing a Pentagon official.
The U.S. Army spokeswoman would not confirm or deny the CNN report. Edwards said it was a "general discharge" and that Page was "ineligible for re-enlistment."
Sources told ABC News the suspect was a "white supremacist" or "skinhead
." And officials told NBC News he had "some kind of radical or white supremacist views," but was apparently not a member of any kind of radical organization. His past run-ins with law enforcement were described as minor.
According to the S
enter, Page "was a frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band
." The band, called End Apathy, formed in 2005. According to the group's MySpace page, its music "is a sad commentary on our sick society and the problems that prevent true progress."
No motive for the suspect was released. Police searched his apartment early Monday looking for clues to his motive, Reuters reported....Members of the temple described the gunman as a tall male with what appeared to be "a 9/11 tattoo." Officials told NBC News late Sunday that the suspect had many tattoos.[........]