Police describe chaotic scene at Sikh temple

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Associated Press

Posted on August 5, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Updated Sunday, Aug 5 at 2:51 PM

OAK CREEK, Wis. -- Authorities were on the scene Sunday of shootings at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, where police and witnesses described a chaotic situation with an unknown number of victims, suspects and possible hostages.

Police were called to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning, when witnesses said several dozen people were gathering for a service. They responded with a dozen ambulances, although Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt said it wasn’t clear how many people had been shot.

Wentlandt also said it wasn’t clear how many suspects were involved, although one opened fire on an officer and the officer "put down" that man. Wentlandt said the officer was shot multiple times.

He described the scene as chaotic and fluid and urged the media not to broadcast photos or video showing tactical units, which could put officers in danger.

Three shooting victims, all men, were taken to Froederdt Hospital in Milwaukee, the main trauma center for the area, spokeswoman Carolyn Bellin said. One was in the operating room, another in a surgical intensive care unit and the third was being evaluated in the emergency room, she said.

Sukhwindar Nagr, of Racine, said he called his brother-in-law’s phone and a priest at the temple answered and told him that his brother-in-law had been shot, along with three priests. The priest also said women and children were hiding in closets in the temple, Nagr said.

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