August 28, 2012 / 10:02 PM / 7 years ago

White supremacist who killed six Sikhs committed suicide - report

Alleged gunman Wade Michael Page is seen in this undated handout from the FBI, released at the Oak Creek Police Department on August 6, 2012. REUTERS/FBI/Handout

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A white supremacist who killed six people during a shooting rampage at a Wisconsin Sikh temple earlier this month committed suicide, according to the official report of the county medical examiner released on Tuesday.

Michael Wade Page, 40, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after he killed six worshippers and wounded three others as they prepared for Sunday services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek on August 5. Investigators initially thought a responding officer killed Page with a gun shot to the stomach.

The report by the Milwaukee County medical examiner also shed light on Page’s disposition leading up to the shooting. Page’s sister, Kimberly Van Buskirk, told investigators that her brother had a history of alcohol problems and appeared somewhat bloated during the months before the shooting. She suggested to investigators that he had been drinking.

Van Buskirk also told investigators that Page’s demeanour changed over the past year, according to investigators.

“He had become more intense and had lost his sense of humour and wit and perceived everything very literally,” the report quoted her as saying.

A final autopsy report showing what was in Page’s system during the shooting has not been released.

Page, a U.S. Army veteran, had links to racist groups and was a member of a number of white power bands with names such as End Apathy and Definite Hate. Investigators have not determined why Page targeted the Sikh temple. Some experts have suggested that he might have thought Sikhs were Muslim. The Sikh religion originated in India and is not related to Islam.

Oak Creek Lieutenant Brian Murphy, who was also shot eight or nine times during the shooting, was released from the hospital on August 22. Punjab Singh, 65, who was shot once in the face, remains in critical condition, according to Milwaukee’s Froedtert Hospital. A third injured person was released soon after the shooting.

Editing by Greg McCune and Andrew Hay

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