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Tragedy at the Sikh Temple: National & State Leaders React

UPDATED Wednesday, August 8, 2012 --- 11:54 a.m.

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) -- President Barack Obama has called Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to express his condolences over the shooting deaths of six Sikh worshippers at a Wisconsin temple.

White House press secretary Jay Carney says Obama called the prime minister on Wednesday. Several of the victims in Wisconsin were from India.

The gunman, identified by officials as Wade Michael Page, opened fire Sunday at a Sikh Temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, killing six worshippers before he was wounded by police and then shot himself in the head.

Carney says the two leaders discussed their "shared commitment to tolerance and religious freedom" and the president reiterated his appreciation of the contributions that Sikhs make in the U.S.

Singh is India's first prime minister from the Sikh faith.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 --- 11:05 a.m.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (AP) -- Mitt Romney says the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin is "tragic" and has asked for prayers for those who were killed.

The Republican presidential candidate opened a campaign event near Chicago on Tuesday by asking for a moment of silence. He said it appears the shooter was "motivated by hate" and that Sikhs are peaceful and loving.

The suspect, 40-year-old Army veteran Wade Michael Page, was killed by police. Authorities say he was a member of white supremacist heavy metal bands and posted frequent comments on Internet forums for skinheads.

Romney said he is praying for the six worshipers who were killed and for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones.

Romney resumed active campaigning after spending Sunday and Monday at his home in New Hampshire.

Copyright 2012: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, August 6, 2012 --- 1:55 p.m.

Obama: US 'heartbroken' over Sikh temple deaths

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says "all of us are heartbroken by what happened" this weekend during a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

Obama told reporters in the Oval Office on Monday that Americans would "recoil" at the violence if ethnicity were a factor. The president says "we are all one people and we look after one another."

Obama spoke to reporters after he signed unrelated legislation at the White House.

A gunman killed six people Sunday before being shot to death by police. Police identified the gunman as Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran and former leader of a white supremacist heavy metal band.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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Posted Sunday, August 5, 2012 --- 7:00 p.m.

President Obama, Senator Johnson, Congressman Ryan and others react to today's shooting in Oak Creek.

Here are the statements:

President Obama:

Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were 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. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.

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Mitt Romney issued the following statement on the shooting Sunday morning at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin:

“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 befall any house of worship. Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead.”

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Oshkosh, WI- Senator Ron Johnson made the following statement today regarding the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of yet another senseless act of violence in America. I have full confidence in the legal authorities that will be investigating this heinous crime."

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U.S. Senator Herb Kohl:

This is a tragic day for our city and for all communities of faith who share grief and concern for the victims of today’s shooting and their loved ones. We also share a deep gratitude to our law enforcement officers. Our prayers are with Milwaukee’s entire Sikh community and we wish them comfort and peace.

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Congressman Paul Ryan issued the following statement:

My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and everyone in Oak Creek who has been impacted by this tragic act of violence. I’m deeply saddened by this malicious crime and remain grateful for the selfless, dedicated service of the emergency response teams and law enforcement officials who continue to investigate this matter. As additional details are gathered, I am hopeful that we will all come together, united in a shared desire for peace and justice, and stand with the Sikh community as we grieve this loss of life.

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Statement of Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin On Oak Creek Shooting, August 5, 2012

"This senseless and violent attack at a house of worship is tragic and heartbreaking. Our prayers go out to the victims of this attack and their families. We stand by members of the Sikh community who have given so much to our state, at a time when the whole community has been shaken by this horrifying event. We also stand together with deep respect for the public service of Wisconsin law enforcement and the first responders whose actions today, and every day, are nothing short of heroic. As we mourn the loss of life and come together to heal as a community we should take great pride in the courage and sacrifice of these public servants."

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Madison—Today, Governor Walker released the following statement regarding the Oak Creek incident:

While the situation in Oak Creek continues to develop rapidly, we are working with the FBI and local law enforcement. I became aware of the situation late this morning and continue to receive updated briefings.

Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence.

At the same time, we are filled with gratitude for our first responders, who show bravery and selflessness as they put aside their own safety to protect our neighbors and friends.

Tonette and I ask everyone to join us in praying for the victims and their families, praying for the safety of our law enforcement and first responder professionals and praying for strength and healing for this entire community and our state.

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(Oconomowoc) - Lt.Governor Rebecca Kleefisch issued the following statement this afternoon following the tragic shooting in Oak Creek early this morning:

"I join the people of Wisconsin and our nation as we pray for the victims of this senseless act of violence in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Our hearts go out to those who were killed, those who were wounded, their friends and families and everyone in the Oak Creek community. We share your sadness. Wisconsin is a state of caring people and we will come together in the wake of this tragic event."


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