After the tragic Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, the question on everyone’s mind is who is Wade Michael Page?
Page was shot and killed in an exchange of gunfire with a police officer who sustained "eight or nine" gunshot wounds and is in critical condition, authorities confirmed. Officials are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism.
The accused 40-year old Army veteran wielded the 9mm semi-automatic pistol that killed six people. Four people were found dead inside the temple and two others were found dead outside the building. Although a motive for the shooting has yet to be found, as information regarding Page becomes public, it is clear that he believes in white supremacy.
Page is the lead singer of End Apathy, a white skinhead band, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. He was enlisted in the Army from 1992 to 1998, working as a psychological operations specialist in Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. After his discharge from the military, Page began focusing on his music career, writing his own white-pride music until forming his band in 2005.
In an interview with Uprise Direct, a blog run by Label56, Page took credit for the idea behind the band. He said, “The inspiration was based on the frustration that we have the potential to accomplish so much more as individuals and a society in whole.”
During the interview, he said the goal of End Apathy was to figure out “what it would take to actually accomplish positive results in society and what is holding us back … figure out how to end peoples apathetic ways it would be the start towards moving forward. Of course after that it requires discipline, strict discipline to stay the course in our sick society. So, in a sense it was view of psychology and sociology.”
The sentiments of Page’s remarks from the interview are echoed in a post on his MySpace page, where he describes his music as “a sad commentary on our sick society and the problems that prevent true progress.”
His MySpace profile also contains links to other skinhead bands like 13 Knots and pictures on the page show End Apathy performing in front of a Nazi flag.
All of this gives reason to believe that the shooting was a hate crime, especially since Sikhs are often mistaken for Muslims because of their appearance. A similar incident happened in 2001, a few days after 9/11, when a Sikh man was mistaken for a Muslim and killed in Mesa, Ariz.
The police are still investigating this devastating incident, calling it an act of domestic terrorism. Page is described as having a shaved head and tattoos over his body with one making a reference to 9/11. Why Page targeted the Sikh temple is still a mystery, but there is little doubt that Page chose them at random.