#TEMPLESHOOTING: The gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple, including priest Parkash Singh, may have been acting on behalf of a violent race hate group (white supremacist), the LA Times reports. The shooter was reportedly covered in tattoos which led law enforcement officials to deem the massacre as an act of ‘domestic terrorism.’ The gunman, who reportedly just broke up with his girlfriend, was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with the first officer who responded to the scene.
The Sikh temple shooter, who recently rented a room in a Cudahy duplex, was allegedly wearing tactical gear and armed with a single handgun. He is described as a white male, in his thirties, with either bald or a shaved head.
ABC News on the hate group connection:
Though police have not given any details on the identity or motive of the shooter, or released the identities of the victims, sources have told ABC News the shootings are the work of a “white supremacist” or “skinhead.”
MSNBC on the shooter’s motivations:
Officials told NBC News the suspect, who served in the U.S. Army, had many tattoos. The suspect had some kind of radical or white supremacist views but, as far as officials said they had heard, he was not in any kind of radical organization. His previous run-ins with law enforcement involved in traffic offenses, they said.
The attack occurred about 10:30 a.m. (11:30 a.m. ET), when temple members were reading scriptures and cooking food in preparation for the main Sunday service and community lunch, said Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, a member of the congregation and the nephew of its president.
Kaleka was not at the temple at the time of the shooting, but helped police interview witnesses in the aftermath. He said members described the attacker as a bald, white man, dressed in a white T-shirt and black pants and with a 9/11 tattoo on one arm — which “implies to me that there’s some level of hate crime there.”