Sikh Temple Shooting Suspect Said To Be ‘White Man In His 40s’

Authorities were searching the apartment of the man suspected of gunning down six congregants and wounding three others at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb over the weekend, but were releasing few details of the alleged assailant.

The suspect, described as a white man in his 40s, was killed in a shootout with police during Sunday’s attack at the temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Authorities have so far declined to name him or speculate on a motive other than to call the crime a possible act of “domestic terrorism.”

The Associated Press said federal agents and the county sheriff’s bomb squad had swarmed a neighborhood in the Cudahy suburb of Milwaukee where the suspect lived in an apartment. The news agency quoted Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent Tom Ahern as saying warrants were being served at the gunman’s home.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted landlord Kurt Weins as saying the man was an Army veteran. Weins told the newspaper that the man had “checked out” before renting the duplex and that he believed his tenant was from Chicago and had no record of violence in Wisconsin.

Weins said the man was something of a loner and that there was nothing suspicious in his behavior during the brief period he knew him.

The paper quoted a neighbor, Jenny Czarnecki, who said the man had first lived in one apartment with his girlfriend, but when the couple broke up in recent weeks, he had moved across the street.

Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said police expected to release more information today and that the shootings are being treated as domestic terrorism, according to the AP.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, expressed sadness that the temple was a target of violence.

“That this senseless act of violence should be targeted at a place of religious worship is particularly painful,” he said in a statement Monday.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.