Chicago-Area Sikhs Try to Understand Tragedy

Gunman's family issues statement

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Natalie Martinez visits the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine. (Published Monday, Aug 6, 2012)

    Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee not only stunned the immediate community. It sparked emotional reaction throughout the country.

    "Was it because we are misunderstood? Was it because somebody simply just does not like humans," said Sukhdev Kaur Ghuman of Palatine's Sikh Religious Society.

    Special care, religious leaders said, was taken to allay the fears of young people who'd heard about the attack in Oak Creek, Wis.

    "We had a long discussion with the children and we answered their questions about what happened. We explained that that was an isolated incident and we don't need to worry. We're doing everything we can to make sure our gurudwara is very safe and secure," said Updesh Viol.

    Vigils were held at temples throughout the area Monday night. At an event in Brookfield, in west suburban Milwaukee, Gov. Scott Walker and his wife sat among the faithful.

    "We're sorry," Walker said, wearing a orange scarf on his head. "You have our support and prayers."

    The family of the sole gunman, identified as 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, earlier in the day issued a statement of compassion and solidarity.

    "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families," the family statement read, in part. "We share in their grief for all who lost their lives that day."

    A visitation for the six victims will be held Friday night in the Oak Creek High School gymnasium.