(cbs news) A gunman allegedly killed six people and wounded three others before being shot dead by a police officer at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee Sunday morning.
The gunman allegedly shot one police officer who was helping a victim ten times. The officer survived the shooting. The suspected gunman was later confronted and killed by another officer outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, near Milwaukee. Officials have indicated this is likely the work of a lone gunman.
Law enforcement sources tell CBS News the alleged gunman was a heavy-set, 40-year-old Caucasian male who lived in the area. A search is being conducted of his house.
Officials say he was armed with a 9-millimeter, semi-automatic pistol. The ATF has recovered the weapon and is running a trace. A second gun found at the scene belonged to one of the police officers who confronted the gunman outside the temple.
The suspect, described as heavily tattooed, wore a white t-shirt and black military BDU pants. He also had ammunition pouches.
While the local police have labeled this attack “domestic terrorism,” federal sources urge caution with that because the investigation is in its very early stages.
The working theory is that he acted alone. Local police are saying they’ll have more information Monday morning at a 10 a.m. news conference.
Paul Piaskoski of CBS affiliate WDJT-TV in Milwaukee reports the children inside the temple taking part in a birthday party in the basement of the facility were among the first to hear the gunfire. They allegedly first thought it was fireworks. When they realized it was gunfire, they were the ones who ran and warned the adults.
The police officer who was shot multiple times while helping a victim was transported to a nearby hospital, where he is in surgery. Greenfield Police Chief Brad Wentlandt said the officer, a 20-year veteran, is expected to survive.
The gunman then confronted a second officer, who returned fire, striking and killing the suspect.
Wentlandt said emergency medical personnel identified seven people dead – four inside the temple and three outside, including the suspect.
“Because of the heroic efforts of the officers,” said Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards, “they stopped this from being worse than it could have been.”
Edwards referred to the shooting as “a domestic terror-type incident,” and said that the FBI will be taking over the criminal investigation, assisted by local police and other agencies.