The shooter who killed six people at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee Aug. 5 died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, not a round fired by police as authorities initially claimed.

Authorities now allege that Wade Michael Page shot himself after shooting multiple people while members were preparing for worship, a mass attack that has shocked the country.

“This remains an active investigation in its early stages,” FBI Milwaukee Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said in a statement on the FBI’s website. “While the FBI is investigating whether this matter might be an act of domestic terrorism, no motive has been determined at this time.

“We know our community has been deeply impacted by this incident, and our thoughts are with those affected and particularly with the officer who was wounded in the line of duty to protect others,” she said.

According to statements released by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, 911 operators began receiving several calls for assistance around 10:26 a.m. on Aug 5.

The first officer to respond, 51-year-old Lt. Brian Murphy, became one of the many victims shot by Page, as he was attending to injured worshippers. He is now in recovery. A second officer who arrived on the scene was able to stop Page with a round to the stomach, before Page took his own life.

According to Reuters, Page was an Army veteran who played in a metal band that preached extreme messages of White power and hate.

The band that Page led, End Apathy, and two others in which he played, Definite Hate and 13 Knots, have been points of focus for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“The White power music industry is a leading source of money and young recruits for many of the Western world’s most dynamic racist revolutionaries,” Heidi Beirich wrote in an essay on music and racism for the group.

“In many ways, this remarkably violent music is accomplishing for the radical right what decades of racist theorizing didn’t: It has given racist skinheads and other racial extremists around the world a common language, and it has worked far better than most propaganda to create more young racists,” she wrote.

Now that the music has been highlighted for its racism and blatant messages of hate, the record company Label 56 is attempting to put distance between their business and the music they helped distribute to the masses.

One of 300 CDs distributed by Definite Hate through Label 56 shows a Black man being hit by a tattooed white fist so hard that his eyeball dangles from his right eye socket while blood spews from his mouth on the front cover.

“We have worked hard over the years to promote a positive image and have posted many articles encouraging people to take a positive path in life, to abstain from drugs, alcohol, and just general behavior that can affect ones life negatively,” Label 56 said in an Aug. 6 statement.

The label continues to service other bands in the hate rock genre.

According to Reuters, Misty Cook, Page’s former girlfriend, was arrested on unrelated weapons charges the same day of the shooting for illegally possessing a firearm despite her status as a felon.

Alexis Taylor

AFRO Staff Writer