tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN August 5, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm PDT
he is a 40-year-old male in a nearby town, about 14 miles way from the temple and at this point, talking it witnesses. they have the suspects identity. they have not been able to have any connection, set any connection between this suspect and this temple at all. witnesses say he was a bald white mail with a 9/11 tattoo on his arm. we got some more information about the witnesses. we haven't been able to talk. we haven't -- okay, let's first listen to the atf agents and what he said about the suspect and about the ongoing investigation. we have that now. >> white male, approximately 40 years of age. and that's all we have as far as, his motive, and we are along away fwr that right now. this is still very fluid with this -- with the warrants being served right now at his
residence and the scene being processed. there are a lot of interviews that need to take place with witnesses from inside the temple and so forth. and just a reconstruct the crime scene and the time line of this is still a ways off. >> and don, those witnesses are still here. they are at an adjacent bowling alley. a few of them have been allowed to go home and we've seen some very emotional scenes of people coming out in tears, being put into vehicles and shuttled away, obviously very distraught. some folks. but there are still more witnesses to talk to. we didave an opportunity it talk to an interpreter that's being used by the police here to talk to eyewitnesss. he went in, and helped decipher basically what these witnesses were telling police and investigators. his name is calixua. it is fascinating. listen to this, and you will
understand what basically happened during temple shooting. >> my gut is that there is probably just one, just some accounts that conflict in a way that maybe there's two, in terms of hearing multiple gunshots. they hear gunshots in the immediate vicinity. it is a question of whether it is an echo or gunshots of policemen or another gunman. >> you did hear witness testimony on the actual shooter. you're saying that according to witnesses, he had a 9/11 tattoo. he was a caucasian male. what else can you tell us about this witness that you heard from witnesses? >> about the shooter. >> he was tall, around 6 foot. he was wearing a white t-shirt and black pants. and in terms of the actual description, supposing he might have been driving a red car. we can get a license plate on it. but, yeah, that's pretty much what we understand up to this point. >> set the scene for us. tell us about the layout of the
temple and what witnesses told you in terms of where the shooting took place. this is about an hour before most of the people would be arriving for the 11:30 service. tell us what you can in terms of what you have heard, on what happened. >> so essentially, the temple is located just off the street. there is a large parking lot, once you drive in a little bit. and one of the gunman fired right at the entrance of the parking lot, killing at least one, if not two people there. the gunman proceeded to enter, and i'm not sure where the gunshots were fired that point. it might have been in this area just outside where we call the bar hall or religious room where we keep our holy book and where people pray. and people from the kitchen had heard it. and they fled. and i guess, he went into the holy room and opened fire on some individuals there, injuring multiple. mainly turbined individuals. and beyond that, he did open
fire into another area off to the side where the kitchen area was, where a lot of the ladies were cooking the food. we feed the congregation, and opened fire there. they were lucky enough to duck down and dodge it. there were minor injuries. but for the most part, yeah, most of the stuff was done in front holy room and in the holy room. >> you say that the possible targets here were turbined individuals. you are talking about male victims and you say that these were holy men, a few priests were, in your estimation, through what you have heard from witnesses, targeted? >> well it seems t few casualties that have been divulged to me, have been the equivalent of priests and holy leaders of our temple, as well as my uncle is one of them who is one of the admistrators of the temple. so it's mainly those individuals who have been targeted or were
shot and, yeah, maybe because the ladies were fortunate enough to dodge it out. but so far, most of the people i've heard were shot and killed were all turbined males. >> again, seven dead, including the shooter, don. one of the injured is the police officer that was first on scene who was, as we have been telling you, was a quote ambushed according to police investigators, by this shooter. his partner is the one that shot the shooter in the parking lot. we do understand that the officer has gone into surgery and is expected to survive but he was shot multiple times at the scene. and as you can imagine, outside the temple, still, here a very emotional scene as people are coming and going. coming to see who was shot. the names have not been released yet. the rumor mill obviously, as it always does, under a case like this, is running. so there are a lot of folks that are dealing with not knowing or when they do know, dealing with
grief. >> absolutely. one of which is not exactly a rumor, but it is -- it's secondhand information from people who were speaking it witnesses about that 9/11 tattoo. the suspect may very well have that. police have not confirmed that. nor have we seen it, but this is from a neighbor and also a relative of people who were inside of that temple, correct, ted? >> correct. and i did ask, thomas ahern, from the atf that question and he said that quite frankly just didn't know. he didn't know about any markings on the shooter's body but we have heard now from two different sources. one from a neighbor and one from an eyewitness through this interpreter here at the scene. >> ted rollins in wisconsin. ted, don't go anywhere. we will be relying on you for infoation as we continue our coverage here again, ted reporting that the suspected gunman in this mad shooting at a sikh temple in wisconsin was a white male, who was roughly 40 years of age.
again, that's according to thomas ahern, who is a spokesman for the atf in the chicago division. this guy is believed to be a guy who shot and killed six people inside the temple and also left three people in critical condition in the hospital, including a police officer. and police in oak creek say they will release no more information until tomorrow morning. the last public statements from police near the shooting scene right now. listen. >> our officers responded to the scene. did find a victim. and we're dealing with that individual when our officer, 20-year veteran, was ambushed, shot multiple times. he is currently at the hospital undergoing surgery. we expect him to recover. and another officer who was on scene was engaged bit suspect. our officer did enghaj individual. and that individual is deceased. from the actions that our officer took. it stopped a tragic event that
could have been a lot worse. there was a service going on with many people at that location. what we've done now is we've -- it's taken most of the day it clear that area, the church itself, and the surrounding area, because of conflicting reports we got about how many people may be involved. we just were able to clear it. what we're going to be doing, we have numerous individuals that we have, that are deceased at this point. i don't have total numbers for you right now. we are working on that. we are going in there shortly. fbi will be handling the criminal investigation on this incident. we looked at it, the scope of it, and what the implications might be. we are treating this as domestic terrorist type incident. and therefore wbt fbi has the resources needed to help investigate that. the atf is also involved in this, along with the milwaukee police department is assisting us with the d.a.'s office and the officer-involved shooting portion of this investigation. but at this point, i'm not going
to give out demographics of who the individuals may be. as far as ages, genders. we don't have all of that information. i'm not releasing it until people are notified. as far as the officer, we know he has family that still needs to be notified. so we're not giving his information out either. >> how many injured, cleehief? >> as far as we know, i believe there were two additional. >> what is that total? >> total from what we have, i believe, we have seven deceased and three injured, including our officer. >> oak creek police chief john edwards giving the latest information and now we have just learned that the suspected shooter, white male, roughly in his 40s, bald head. police are executing a search warrant as we speakn his home. next, we will get insight into the sikh community from a member of the sikh coalition. ♪
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welcome back to the continuing coverage of the wisconsin temple shooting. i'm don lemon at scene at world head quarters in atlanta. the sikh community is mourning the tragedy in oak creek and this nanl is obscure to most americans are coming together now. we are talking with the attorney and co-founder of the sikh coalition. thank you for joining us, and of courts my condolencis of the tragedy which struck your community. >> thank you, don. >> would the biggest coalition
in is u.s. and civil rights group in the u.s., what are you doing in the wake of this horrific shooting? >> you know, there are a few things. you know, one, you know, we've been contacting our federal authorities, everything, everyone on from the president to the united states justice department and thankfully they have expressed their full support to make sure we find out what happened in this, you know, matter is properly investigated and that the community is protected. in addition, we're working -- i'm along with members of our organization, will be out in wisconsin tomorrow, to lend a hand to the community out there. as you can imagine, the sikh community in the midwest is relatively smaller than most of the communities on the coast, has less capacity so we want to help them out. and finally, we are doing our best to educate folks on who we are and what we believe in, so
folks believe that sikh values are consistent with america's values. >> and you are heading to wisconsin tomorrow to help out in this effort, as you mentioned. how many of you, whaen do you plan to do exactly? >> so at left three members of our staff are going to be out there. in wisconsin. tomorrow. and the plan is really to just get a sense of, you know, what happened. and then, help the community there appropriately respond. so we can get to the bottom of this and more importantly we can have a better chance of explaining to america who we are as a community and our contributions to our country. >> how are they -- what are you hearing from folks there? how are they dealing with this? >> as you can imagine, shock. folks are overwhelmed. but there is a gratitude for the heroic response for the oak
creek police department. obviously our thoughts and prayers, people's thoughts and prayers, are with the police officer who is critically wounded and in the hospital now and families of those who have been deceased and those also in the hospital. it is a mixture of shock and everyone from our president to friends and neighbors reached out to us and affirmed america's values and come together in this tragedy rather than be driven apart. >> thank you very much. we appreciate it. and stay in touch with us as you go to wisconsin tomorrow and you work with this community again our thoughts and prayers are with you. thanks for joining us here on cnn. >> thank you. >> we will talk more about the sikh community. my next guest is from the cnn belief blog. el join us and share his insights, next. this man is about to be the millionth customer.
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i'm don lemon. we're following breaking news in suburban milwaukee. what you're looking at now is in downtown milwaukee. courtesy of our affiliate, wisn, a vigil. this vigil is happening live. people have gathered here in this field. you can see many are carrying candles. they are here no doubt to pray for the people who were injured and who were killed at this temple today in oak creek, wisconsin. of course, oak creek just south of milwaukee. we'll continue to follow that for you n. the gunman opened fire on a religious center, used by the city's sikh community and killed six people before the gun fight with police.
the gunman now also dead and a wisconsin town is in deep shock and morning. you can see those live pictures told the story. i will talk to eric, the co-editor of cnn's belief blogged on cnn, highly trafficked belief blog, one of the most highly trafficked in the world. looks like these are observant sikhs. it's a big day in their urban area and do most urban areas have those that faith. >> around 20 million in the world practice sikhism, here, in the united states, about 700,000. mostly situated on the coast. big populations in the bay area, washington, d.c., and new york as well. ethnic minorities tend to come together like this in religious observances and why we saw a sikh temple outside milwaukee so popular, about 400 members in
that particular temple, that guawara, that started in 1997. a long established part of the community in oak creek. >> people have been asking me and e-mailing me on social media. asking, are sikhs like muslims? they're not muslim, are they like muslims? people are trying to get information. many people don't know that much about sikhism. >> yeah. it's true. there's not a whole lot of information out there in the common parlance of america about sikhism. one of the things that's important, it's its own revealed religion, comes out about 500 years ago out of india, out of islam and hinduism. it's its own unique and particular faith one of the things that's identified, the men don't cut their hair, part of their commitment and their sacrifice. what they do is they wear a
turban. that's not just a fashion statement as other parts of the country. that's a deep part of their faith to keep their hair uncut as a commitment to god. in the united states, that's one of the most recognizable features of observant sikhs. not all wear their hair long and the turbans but many do. i spoke to someone about hate crimes says whenever we find a spike about anti-muslim rhetoric, sikhs often pay the price because they're the ones who look muslim although they're not n. we see terrorists like al qaeda and people who are against islam, they ovenware turbans like sikhs do in the united states and around the world. >> do sikhs have the traditional enemies like hindus or muslims who might want to do violence against sikhs?
>> not traditionally, and certainly not in this united states, such a tiny minority. when we get to the anti-muslim rhetoric we see sikhs facing hate crimes. just last year, there was another missionary vandalized and vandalized as a mosque instead of a guawara like we see here. we wait to see whether this particular house of worship was targeted as a hate crime or the person involved in the shooting thought they were targeting a mosque or other religions. a horrible tragedy as those who follow other religions try to get our heads around it. >> we had a sikh leader who said his people and his faith, as you said a short time ago, are often confused with muslim or he said taliban members. he mentioned the turban and
he explained why the turban is important to the faith. my question is, are there any noticeable violence against sikhs or targets of threat in becausof things that mentioned and other things as well? >> particularly in the united states after 9/11 the first retaliatory killing was in phoenix, a sikh man n. the shooter on death row said go back to iraq and shot and killed this man in cold blood thinking the was an arab and muslim. instead, this man was of indian descent and a sikh. that's how this hate crime has manifested it self here in the united states in the last decade or so. >> eric, thank you very much. we appreciate it. we move on now. police search the home of the gunman. live report on the investigation next.
police face chaos an carnage as a mass shooting unfolded today again, this one at a sikh temple in wisconsin. the officer who shot and killed the suspect was wounded in the firefight. i want to listen now to a recording of a police dispatch in wisconsin. >> he's not moving. we're approaching upon him. he's not moving. >> subject's out, police officer
is down! >> go ahead. >> we have one officer shot. >> proceed. >> squad 7512 south hollow avenue, subject with a gun, balding, white t-shirt, officer down. >> police dispatched there. meantime, we're getting new details on the suspect. here's thomas ahern on the atf division. >> a white male, approximately 40 years of age. that's all we have as far as his motive. we're a long way away from that right now. the situation is still very fluid with the warrants being served right now at his residence and the scene still being processed. there's a lot of interviews that need to take place with
witnesses from inside the temple and so forth just to reconstruct the time scene and the timeline is still a ways off. >> special agent thomas ahern in the atf, in chicago. deb, they're calling the suspect's neighborhood and area around the temple, active crime scene. you heard thomas ahern, white male roughly in his 40s. we're hearing he was bald. you're learning new information about the shooter, what do you know? >> reporter: one thing we do know, both areas are crime scenes. authorities did evacuate homes around the home belonging to the alleged gunman. they have to question these neighbors anyway and need to make sure there are no weapons or explosives in the home that could create potential problems and one reason why they wanted
to evacuate nearby homes. that gunman, keep in mind, he was shot just moments after going on this rampage inside that sikh temple and opened fire on six people killing them and then opened fire at two police officers one critical, wounded, spent much of the day in surgery, in the operating room. three others in critical condition. >> one officer was able to fire back and killed that gunman. a weapon found near him, described as a semiautomatic handgun. when you think about what's going on inside that temple. the devotees just finished a three-day celebration they read the holy book cover to cover, a day where they stay up for three straight days. food is served. tea is served. and honoring a child's birthday, this gunman walked in.
er thatly, that's chaclearly, t investigators want to know. how did he wander inside this temple? did he have a gripe against the members or sikhs in general. that's what they're doing analyzing the computer data. we're told one of the dead is the holy priests reading that holy book. in an act of bravery, the temple president tried to tackle the gunman. we are told he was then shot in the back. he is also one of those described as in critical condition. right now, it is very tricky. that temple is an ongoing crime scene. the fbi will bring in its response team, doing forensic analysis, taking photographs, plotting how that gunman moved inside that temple. as they do that, they'll be able to at least piece together exactly what was going on. right now, they believe there
was only one gunman taking some of his deepest secrets to the grave with him. he is under investigation. they are trying to find a motive. don, you mentioned earlier in the broadcast, there is additional security at sikh temples. there is a second one in wisconsin with extra security and nypd saying they will add additional security to temples here. it's a precautionary measure. no known threat. at this point, they don't want to take any chances. >> deb, thank you, good reporting there. step back, a lot of people are releasing their statements and giving their sentiments, including the president. you and i just a week ago were on this broadcast and i was in aurora reporting from there on a mass shooting that happened two weeks ago and last night i reported that the gunman in the
gabriel giffords case is expected to plead guilty according to published reports there and on and on and here we go again. we should step back and take a collective look and figure out what is going on here. thank you, deb. we'll be back with you. as i said, president barack obama released a statement on today's shootings. at this difficult time, the people of oak creek must know the american people have them in our thoughts and prayers and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those killed and wounded. my administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. of course, we know this is an election year. so we have to get the other side. and the man running for the white house now, mitt romney, on this shooting says, ann and i
extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of today's shooting in wisconsin. this was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never be fall any house of worship. our hearts are with the victims and families and entire oak creek sikh community. we join everyone in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead. one other response worth noting now, the governor of south carolina, nikki haley grew up sikh. she posted this statement on her facebook page simply saying it is very sad to see something like this happen to a peaceful place of worship. our prayers and condolences go out to the innocent victims and family of the heroic officer in this senseless tragedy. second that. next, we'll talk to a leader on the sikh council on religion and education to see how the sikh community is responding.
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i just read it a short time ago. in his statement of the shooting, the president mentioned the sikh community is a part of our family web says, a community we are learning more about and our next guest is rajwant singh, joining us all evening, joining us from washington. thank you for joining me. my condolences of the tragedy that struck your community. i can't imagine what you're going through and others as well who are affected by this. first, what have you heard from other sikhs about the shooting? >> well, you know, there is an opinion within the sikh community in which many of us who have been working for the sikh affairs in the last decade is that there is always apprehension and a sense of fear
that this kind of incident will take place anywhere any time. we are totally convinced although the investigation is going on, that this is nothing but a hate crime, a person who sees us as enemies without having background check and then this tragedy. this is what needs to be understood. i think then the onus is on the leaders of this country and the media and everybody, the academics. how do we educate our fellow americans? how do we make people understand the diversity that america has? >> i think it's important too for you to point out and i think it's very admirable of you, when so many people are saying, of course, i've heard it, of course, don, it's terrorism, this is terrorism. why aren you saying it?
is it because it's a white person, the suspect, believed to be a white person instead of a brown person? if it was a brown person, it would, of course, be terrorism. you say what to that? >> when you use the world "terrorism," it has a completely different connotation. when you call it a hate crime, it involves everybody taking responsibility, whether school system, the political leadership, the media. everybody needs to do something to lessen this kind of rage and this kind of action being taken by young people. of course, there are other reasons -- there are no reasons why people pick up a gun and shoot innocent people. we have seen in the last two years, three years, it's tragic to see so much killing and tragedy occurring, whether it's the aurora or virginia tech. but this particular incident links back to 9/11, and i think
that's where our communities problem come, is where we find that there is very little exposure to people like us, so that people at large and americans can understand who we are. we are victims of this whole tragedy which has unraveled since 9/11 in america. >> there are pictures of a vigil in downtown milwaukee now. not far from oak creek. this is how this community is coming together. talk more about that. you are sitting here as this tragic thing happened. and we commend you. you are very calm. personally, after 9/11, as a human, talk to me about your feelings about that. being confused as muslim, not all muslims, of course, are terrorists.
>> absolutely. >> they should not be pegged with that label, but as a human being and seeing this happen, what are you feeling and what's going on with the sikh community now? >> you know, we have gone through this period for a long time. i remember when one of the first sikh who was killed as a hate crime after 9/11, and it was -- he was being referred as an arab being killed in mesa, arizona. i corrected the national media, please stop saying arab because they will go after every person wearing a turban, considering him -- it's a sad thing that even i have to sit here and say we are not arabs and we are not taliban. this shouldn't happen. nobody should be going after muslims or anybody. whatever is happening in the middle east issues, those are totally separate. people are living in america
trying to have their best of life, whatever ways or means they are doing here. so the point is the young people who have grown up as sikhs in this country, they are americans. they believe strongly nor this nation and yet they feel when these things happen, it goes in the mind, where do we belong? that is a tragedy for all americans. i think everybody should feel at home, that this nation belongs to everyone. this this -- >> that is a great way of putting it. we will end it there, not your coming back, you will be back on in the 10:00 hour. we appreciate your sentiments, a great place to leave it now. thank you. the reason we have been talking to you and people of the sikh community is because education is the most powerful against this learning about each other and talking as we are doing now. thank you. see you soon.
started shooting. initially, there was confusion. nobody knew how many gunmen were in the temple, and nobody knew for sure when the coast was clear. >> approximately 10:25 a.m. oak creek dispatch received an unintelligible 911 call from someone who was reporting an incident. >> they are all victims of gunshot wounds. one suffered injuries to the abdomen and chest. one suffered injuries to the extremities and face. and one suffered injuries to the neck. >> what the police are trying to do on the outside is try to bring some stabilization to the situation by showing that they've got it contained and then ttry to make contact as early as possible. it's an old saying in a hostage negotiation business. while someone is talking, they're not going to be shooting. >> the fbi will be handling the criminal investigation on this incident. we looked at the scope of it and what the implications might be. we're treating this as a domestic terrorist type
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deborah feyerick. what can you tell us? >> the hospital is the froedtert hospital of wisconsin. they're the trauma center that received the three critically injured patients. we're told two of the patients are out of surgery, and they are recovering. we're told another is undergoing a complex set of procedures. we do not know which of the patients is still in surgery. we do know there was a police officer who was essentially ambushed by the gunman as he ran from that temple. that officer shot multiple times. this was a man who apparently had nothing to lose. not only did he shoot at this police officer, but he also shot at another police officer who ultimately fired the fatal shot. killing that gunman, don. >> all right. deborah feyerick in new york. deb, also, real quickly we're learning more about this suspected shooter. again, a man in his 40s, right? correct, deb? you still there? >> correct, yes. sorry about that.
>> you talked about the handgun that was -- just quickly, one handgun. both of guns found semiautomatic. according to our sources. >> yes, it's believed one of those guns belonged to the police officer. the other did belong to the gunman. he is described as a white man in his 40s, balding, tall. he was not somebody who was known to the community. that was according to somebody who helped debrief some of the witnesses. his home is now being searched. yeah, that handgun was recovered. you have to think about how this is all playing out, also, in terms of the number of shots. you have six people who are shot and killed. okay. you have two others critically wounded, even before the police officers shot. a normal semiautomatic gun, handgun, usually holds anywhere between 11 and 14 bullets. it's not clear whether he went through one magazine or two magazines. when i did speak to one of the atf folks on the ground, that person told me he was not sure whether there were additional
magazines found in his sort of black cargo style pants. >> all right, deb. stand by because we're going to get more on that. let's go now to alex manning, former police investigator and law enforcement veteran. you heard about the shooter, what she said about the guns. do you agree with what she said about the guns and getting off those rounds? >> sure, he could have had an extended magazine too. they are only sold to law enforcement right now. prior to them being banned for everyone except law enforcement, someone could have one of those extended magazines. >> just full transparency here, when these situations happen, we just -- as i said, we're just off the aurora shooting, two weeks that happened. this always go into the gun control debate. people say, if not now, when are we going to talk about gun control? there are others who say, let's not, let's talk about the victims in the investigation. this has nothing to do with it. as a veteran, what do you think? >> i own guns myself, don. i think there is going to be a time to talk about gun control. gun control is out there.
it protects those people that are good, law-abiding people. i don't think now is necessarily the time to talk about gun control as much as what you're doing. educating people. the more you educate the people, the better. that's what people need, education. >> okay. real quickly, i've got to move on, but the first thing you said they're going to look at his computer, and that's going to give them a lot of information, you believe, about the suspected shooter. i think it is. he's dead. they've got to get the information somewhere. if you look in somebody's computer and their search history and what they type, you can find out tons of information about them. >> all right. alex manning, we appreciate that. we're going continue to talk about this. we have alex. we have deb. also eric. also, other contributoring here on cnn. we're right back after a break. don't go anywhere.