Reporting Kai Jackson
RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (WJZ)– The victims of a devastating mass shooting are trying to move forward. The Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisc., are finally allowed to return to their temple for the first time since a white supremacist killed six worshipers.
Kai Jackson explains, the Sikh community here in Maryland gathered on Thursday night to heal.
The Sikh community in Randallstown believe the tragedy in Wisconsin is an opportunity to foster understanding and education.
The gurudwara temple in Randallstown says this is the power of love following the murderous rampage inside a Wisconsin Sikh temple on Sunday that left six people dead.
Now, Sikhs in Baltimore County joined with other faiths and elected leaders to remember the shooting victims and show solidarity.
“Tonight, the main purpose is to honor the victims in Wisconsin and a speedy recovery for the injured,” said Shammi Singh, of the Sikh Association of Baltimore.
Four days after the shooting, the temple has reopened its doors.
As wakes and private funerals are set to take place, authorities say 40-year-old Wade Michael Page shot and killed the six victims and injured three others including a police officer. Page was shot by police, yet they say a self-inflicted wound actually killed him.
Police say Page, an army veteran, sang white supremacist music and recorded with a Linthicum-based record label.
Members of the Sikh temple in Randallstown say out of the tragedy in Wisconsin, they hope a sense of love and understanding is fostered about their religion and their culture.
“All of the people of our state are really with them in unity and solidarity,” Gov. Martin O’Malley said.
Members say by comparison, the Sikh religion is relatively new. It was created in India by a prophet about 500 years ago with a mission to worship God through love and peace.
“It’s sad because you don’t expect something like that to happen in a place of worship. And it unfortunately did happen there,” Avneet Nibber said.
The Baltimore County Police Department has made the Randallstown Sikh temple aware that there are programs available for their security. The police department also says that as with any group, they will ensure that their freedom of religion is respected as well.
While the Wisconsin temple has reopened, federal authorities continue their investigation.