The Sunday morning that left seven dead, including the shooter, is reaching communities far beyond Oak Creek, Wis.
According to police, three bodies were found outside the temple in Oak Creek and four were inside the building. At least three others were injured, including the first police officer who responded to the incident.
Sikh communities around the country, including the in Renton, were touched by Sunday's violence, .
“Our prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives in this senseless shooting,” said Paramjit Singh of Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington. “We are grateful for the bravery of the police officers that responded and prevented this from becoming an even bigger tragedy.”
"We're feeling really sad right now because of the shooting," , one of the directors at the Sikh Gurdwara Temple in San Jose, the largest in North America. "It's tragic it happened in a religious place. We condemn all shootings, including the one in Colorado. We're peace loving people and we live in harmony with other communities."
And in Iowa, thoughtfully on the shootings: "I won't fight it," said Jeevanjot Singh. "I won't get angry. I'll just pray that it won't happen again."
The temple in Renton serves about 25,000 Sikhs, according to its website.
Singh said racial profiling in the form of violent hate crimes, employment discrimination, school bullying and even secondary screenings at the airports faced by Sikhs, Muslims and other communities that appear Middle Eastern are a daily reminder of the climate of xenophobia in America.
“This incident highlights the post 9/11 climate and must be used as an opportunity to have a broader dialogue on religious pluralism in America,” Singh said. “We need a national dialogue to dispel the ignorance that causes some communities to be targeted and feel like second-class citizens in their own country.”
Patch also reached out to the Gurudwara Sikh Centre of Seattle based in Bothell, but it was not available for comments on Sunday.
If you're looking for information resources on the Sikh community, the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle hosted a special exhibition in 2005-2006 on the 100-plus-year history of Sikhs in the Pacific Northwest.
We ask you, Patch readers, when something violent happens such as this shooting or the recent movie theater shootings in Colorado, how do you talk about it with your family? Do you let your children watch news coverage on TV or online? Do you discuss what might have caused it, safety issues, or communities that might be different than your own? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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