The shooting at Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, Sunday morning took at least seven lives and injured around 30. At this point, no one really knows what the motive was; however, several people who were there are speculating that it might have been a hate crime.
Although authorities are being stingy with details, the people who were there are saying they believe it might have been a hate crime. Ven Boba Ri, a member of the temple's committee, told reporters that he had communicated with people who were inside at the time the shooting occurred. The consensus was that the shooter was a white male in his 30s, and he was not a member of the temple, raising suspicion that it was motivated by a deep-seated hatred.
No one is sure of the motive, however, because the shooter was killed by police officers at the scene.
According to witnesses, the gunman approached a Sikh priest who was standing outside the temple, shot him, and proceeded inside the temple, where he continued shooting. The first officer at the scene exchanged gunfire with the assailant, taking him down. Many of the worshipers had fled the area into different parts of the building after hearing shots being fired.
The question is, did the shooter mistake Sikhism for Islam? Did the shooter just decide to go off and kill some people who simply looked like they might be Muslim? Did the shooter even understand the difference between Sikhism and Islam? Did he even care?
The Sikh religion is relatively new in terms of organized faiths. It was established 500 years ago in the Punjab region of India, having broken away from Hinduism because believers did not agree with the Hindu caste system. Islam began at least 300 years earlier through the prophet Muhammad. They are two different sets of beliefs.
However, hatred does not split hairs when the eye sees only a brown person worshiping a faith much different than the mainstream. Hatred seeks to destroy everything it opposes, and the shooter, whoever he was, destroyed six innocent lives who had done nothing to him try to live their lives peacefully.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is a collective effort of federal, state, and local law enforcement officials, was at the scene of the shooting by 1pm local time. Police officers were also dispatched to other Sikh temples around the area as a safety precaution.
With the Aurora shooting having happened just a couple of weeks ago, and now this shooting at Sikh Temple, lawmakers need to reevaluate laws that making purchasing guns and ammunition easy for domestic terrorists to acquire the weapons they use to kill.