10 years after Sikh temple shooting, a victim’s son and a former white supremacist speak out against hate
Pardeep Kaleka lost his father 10 years ago when a gunman with ties to white supremacist groups opened fire in a Wisconsin gurdwara, killing six people.
Pardeep Kaleka lost his father 10 years ago when a gunman with ties to white supremacist groups opened fire in a Wisconsin gurdwara, killing six people. But he says he found an unlikely and controversial way to deal with his grief — reaching out to a former white supremacist.
The two men have spoken out against hate together at events, as the Sikh community continues to heal a decade after the deadly rampage.
On Aug. 5, 2012, the gunman, Wade Michael Page, who had ties to white supremacist organizations, entered the Oak Creek gurdwara, a Sikh house of worship, and fatally shot six congregants before killing himself. He wounded four others, one of whom died in March 2020 from injuries sustained in the shooting.
The U.S. Department of Justice declared the mass shooting both a hate crime and a terrorist act, and its anniversary comes as members of the Sikh community look back on it against a backdrop of rising hate and violence.
Kaleka, 45, whose father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was the gurdwara’s president, said he feels healing is multilayered and that he ultimately turned to his faith and community.