New Delhi: At least seven people were killed on Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a gurudwara near Milwaukee in Wisconsin, USA, and the suspected shooter later died in an exchange of gunfire with police, authorities said. About 20 people were injured in the shooting and were taken to Froedtert Hospital. The shooting occurred at around 11 am (US time).
According to the latest reports police said that the gurudwara has been cleared and there is no one inside, and that they haven't indentified the additional shooters. Police have cordoned off the area. The FBI is treating this as an act of domestic terrorism.
More than 400 people were reportedly inside the gurudwara when the shooting occured. A Sikh priest had specially come from India to address the gathering on Sunday. Media reports said about 12 children have been held hostages. The president of the temple has also reportedly shot and has been rushed to the hospital, they said.
Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao said that an official has been deputed to rush to the site to ascertain the situation on-the-spot. "We don't want to comment on the nature of crime, we should not jump to any conclusion on this now," Rao said.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday described as "deeply painful and shocking" the attack by gunmen on devotees at a Gurudwara in the US and urged the authorities there to ensure that the sanctity of religious shrines is maintained. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is monitoring the situation in New Delhi and will take up the issue with the Union Government, an official spokesman said on Sunday night.
US President Barack Obama was on Sunday briefed by his counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan on the situation arising out of the attack on worshipers at a Gurudwara in
A police spokesman said a law enforcement officer was shot multiple times by the unidentified shooter, who was "put down". It was not immediately known if the shooter was injured or killed.
"We do not know if there are additional shooters at the temple," he said. The officer has been transported to hospital and was expected to survive.
The spokesman said tactical operations are ongoing and that the situation was "very fluid".
According to the Milwaukee Sentinel, the head priest of the gurudwara was locked inside a restroom with a cell phone.
Initial reports said a witness to the shooting told law enforcement agents that the shooter was a heavy build, bald white male wearing a sleeveless T-shirt. He was last seen with two handguns.
Police, ambulances and the fire department are on the scene at the gurudwara of Wisconsin.
Carolyn Bellin, spokeswoman for Froedhart & The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, told CNN that two men had been brought in and one was undergoing surgery.
With Additional Inputs from agencies