US temple shooting, up to 30 injured
Family members wait outside a Sikh temple where the shooting occurred. Picture: AP

Update: 3.30am At least six people were killed when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple near the US city of Milwaukee.

The suspected gunman was later killed in exchange of gunfire with police, who were called to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning as people were gathering for a service.

Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt said the first officer to arrive encountered a man police believe was the gunman.

“An officer arrived on the scene, engaged the shooter and was shot multiple times,” Wentlandt said. “That shooter was put down.”

The officer was undergoing surgery and was expected to survive.

Wentlandt said police do not believe a second gunman was involved, despite earlier media reports of another shooter holding hostages.

Police tactical units who went through the temple and found four people dead inside and three outside the building, including the suspected gunman, he said.

It’s unclear how many others were wounded.

The spokeswoman for the area trauma centre said three victims were being treated there, including one in surgery.

Sukhwindar Nagr, of Racine, said he called his brother-in-law’s phone and a priest at the temple answered and told him that his brother-in-law had been shot, along with three priests.

The priest also said women and children were hiding in closets in the temple, Nagr said.

Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the US since then, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment.

Sikhs don’t practice the same religion as Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.

The West Australian

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