New Delhi/Oak Creek (US), Aug.6 (ANI): The Embassy of the United States in New Delhi on Monday expressed its sympathy and condolences to the Sikh community in the United States and India for the senseless loss of lives and injuries caused by the August 5 shooting at a Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Expressing its sadness over the incident, the embassy in its statement said: "Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the victims and their families. An investigation into the incident has begun. Any incident like this one is tragic, especially when it happens in a place of worship."
The statement further said: "The United States takes very seriously the responsibility to respect and protect people of all faiths. Religious freedom and religious tolerance are fundamental pillars of U.S. society. The Sikh community in the United States contributes to this principle and meaningfully enhances the American social fabric."
Meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has said that it will investigate Sunday's rampage at a Sikh Gurdwara in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek, as a "domestic terrorist-type incident" that left at least six people and the gunman dead, the town's police chief said.
Another three people were wounded, including the first officer to respond to the scene, Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards said. A second officer returned fire, killing the suspect, according to the chief.
All three wounded-one of whom was shot in the abdomen and chest, another in the extremities and face and the third in the neck-were in critical condition Sunday night at Milwaukee's Froedtert Hospital, the hospital said in a statement.
There are an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 families of the Sikh religion in the Milwaukee area and two temples. The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, where the attack took place on Sunday, was founded in October 1997 with a community of 20 to 25 families, according to its website. It has 350 to 400 people in its congregation and has grown rapidly,
The two temples serve as community centers for Sikhs as well as houses of worship, community members said. (ANI)