A shooting incident at a Sikh temple in the northern U.S. state of Wisconsin has left at least seven people dead and three others injured, local media reported on Sunday.
The gunman, said to a white male in his forties with a 9/11 tattoo on one arm, reportedly opened fire inside the Sikh temple, or Gurdwara, in the town of Oak Creek in suburban Milwaukee. While four people were shot dead inside the temple, the gunman and two others were killed outside.
The assailant is said to have opened fire on a police officer, who had responded to a 911 call from the temple and was helping a shooting victim outside the place of worship, before he was gunned down by a second officer.
The wounded officer, a 20-year veteran, is among the three being treated for injuries at Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital. Although hospital officials said the police officer is expected to survive, the other two are said to be in critical condition.
Law enforcement officials are yet to disclose the identity of the attacker whose motives are not yet clear. Nevertheless, they have since searched a two-storey house in the Cudahy neighborhood, believed to be that of the gunman.
Local media quoted unnamed police officers as saying that a search warrant had been issued for the house. They added that the FBI and a bomb squad were involved in the search operations. Oak Creek is a small town of about 30,000 people.
Addressing a press conference later on Sunday, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards described the attack as a “domestic terrorist-type incident.” He added that the FBI would be conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting.
The incident comes a couple of weeks after a gunman fired on the audience in a theater in Colorado state, killing 12 people and wounding 58. President Barack Obama said he was “deeply saddened” by the latest shooting incident and pledged to launch a through investigation.