Metro Sikhs React to Wisconsin Worship Center Shooting
SHAWNEE, Kan. – The news of this shooting at a Sikh worship center in suburban Milwaukee, WI spreads to a gurdwara, or worship center, here in the metro.
“Just shock, just shock you know because something like this has never happened at a gurdwara and especially any worship place,” Amrik Ballagan, a member of the Gurdwara Sahib said.
Related: At Least Seven Dead in Mass Shooting
Ballagan spent about a decade living and using a gurdwara in the Milwaukee area, near the shooting scene. He said he still has friends there.
“Our kids got on Facebook, they are friends and so we find out from them, everybody is doing OK,” Ballagan said.
Committee members of the Midwest Sikh Association of Kansas City held a press conference Sunday afternoon.
“Our prayers go out to the families and the victims of this event who lost their lives, the families and the victims who are in the hospital and anyone else involved in this senseless act of violence,” Charanjit Hundal, the committee spokesperson, said.
Hundal said he hopes the more than 2,000 Sikhs in the metro will remain fearless at their gurdwara’s. He said he also hopes there will be understanding of different faiths that will come out of this tragedy.
Hundal said hate crimes against Sikhs have spiked nationally since 9/11, so they’re asking if Wisconsin authorities determine what happened was a hate crime, to apply the appropriate hate crime laws.
The local Sikh community plans to hold a vigil Friday evening for those involved in this shooting at their center. It’s located near 68th Terr. and Pflumm Rd. in Shawnee.
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