Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Memorials are now showing up around the Wisconsin temple where six people died during a shooting rampage. Now police are looking deeper into the suspect’s ties to hate groups.
Mike Hellgren investigates his ties to this area.
This has raised concern about hate groups in Maryland. A group called Label 56 distributed some of his music nationwide. They have since denounced his actions.
Several watchdogs say Wade Page had a soundtrack of hate. His band End Apathy performed in Baltimore.
It’s part of a troubling picture emerging of the suspected Sikh temple shooter. Authorities say he killed six people before police killed him.
“Tattoos that he was wearing are his badges, proving he’s part of this violent, neo-Nazi, skinhead world,” said Hazel Beirich, Southern Poverty Law Center.
Page’s ties have brought attention to underground racist groups in Maryland.
“The hate music world is certainly one of the most prominent ways to recruit young people into this kind of movement that’s filled with hate for minority groups and anti-Semitism,” said Michael Greenberger, University of Maryland.
The attacks have Maryland’s Sikh community on edge.
“The fact is that he singled out the Sikhs,” said one.
One of Page’s military friends say he spoke of a racial holy war but his stepmother says that’s not who she knew.
“What has changed him, I have no idea. Obviously we’re never going to know. He had Hispanic friends and he had black friends,” said Laurie Page.
Some say the government isn’t doing enough to monitor hate groups and homegrown terrorists when the warning signs are there.
“Because we’ve made it politically unpopular to watch out for these people and do something about it, we’ve left ourselves vulnerable,” Greenberger said.
Military sources say Page was dishonorably discharged from the Army 14 years ago. It’s unclear how many times he visited Maryland.
The FBI believes Page acted alone.