At least seven people have been killed and twenty injured as a gunman took over a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, with many attendees reportedly having been taken hostage. Police report that one of those killed was the gunman.
Four of those shot died inside the temple, while the three others (two victims and a gunman) were killed outside the building.
Previous reports were unclear on the number of gunmen involved, though police now say they believe there was only one.
Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt explained that reports of multiple gunmen may be based on several police radio calls about a gunman.
Police officers managed to enter the temple, and began interrogations of people who had gathered on its basement floor.
Three adults have been hospitalized with gun wounds into their faces, police report. They are all in critical condition.
One police officer was shot several times, but is said to have survived, according to media reports from the scene.
As many as a hundred people were gathered at the Brookfield Temple for a morning service.
Many potential victims were spared, as the temple was only partially full when the attack began, an hour before a big Sunday service was scheduled to start.
The first information from the scene came from the temple’s head priest, who was reportedly locked in a restroom with a cell phone.
The gunman has been described as white male, bald, with a stocky build.
And amid reports of multiple people having been shot inside the temple, some attendees appear to have been able to escape, though some remain inside. The temple was holding a special children’s service today, with a featured guest from India.
Energy officials shut down the building’s gas supply as a precautionary measure, witnesses told local news, while police have cordoned off the street where the temple is located until the situation is resolved.
Meanwhile, journalists are keeping a safe distance from the area in case the shooters have access to TV or radio.
“We would plead with the media at the scene to not broadcast any photo, video of tactical units, officer movement, and particularly no aerial footage of the event as it’s ongoing,” Greenfield Police Chief Wentlandt said.
The temple draws worshippers from as far as Chicago, St. Louis, Missouri, and Cincinnati, Ohio.