Wade Michael Page committed suicide, FBI says
By William Branigin and Michael Laris,
Wade Michael Page, the gunman who killed six people at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee on Sunday, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was wounded in the stomach by police gunfire, the FBI disclosed Wednesday.
Teresa Carlson, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Milwaukee office, told reporters that a police officer shot Page in the stomach, “thereby neutralizing the threat,” in the parking lot outside the Sikh temple after Page had fatally shot six worshipers and wounded three other people, including the first police officer who arrived on the scene.
“Subsequent to that wound, it appears that Page died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” Carlson said in a news conference in Milwaukee. She indicated that the suicide, disclosed for the first time Wednesday, was confirmed by security video footage of the scene. She said of the second police officer’s shot that hit Page in the stomach, “I’ve seen the video, and it was an amazing shot. Thank goodness.”
Authorities previously said that Page was killed by police after he shot the first responder, fired at two police cars and failed to obey commands to put down his weapon, identified as a 9mm handgun.
Carlson said the motive behind the temple shootings remains unknown and that authorities are continuing to interview people who knew Page. The 40-year-old Army veteran was well known to anti-hate watchdog groups as someone affiliated with white supremacism and deeply involved in the “white power” music scene.
Carlson also said that authorities have located and interviewed a man who was identified as a “person of interest” after the shooting. Police said Page acted alone, but they distributed a photo of the man, saying they wanted to identify and question him.
The photo helped authorities to find the man, who was “cooperative and continuing to cooperate,” Carlson said.
Separately, police late Tuesday arrested Page’s former girlfriend as a “felon in possession of a firearm,” according to South Milwaukee police investigator Michael Hill.
The arrest of Misty Cook came in connection with a joint FBI investigation, Hill said, adding that charges will be sought with the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.
The arrest was first reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The paper said Cook, 31, was arrested Tuesday night, after authorities searching her apartment — where Page had lived with her earlier this year — found a gun.
She is not accused of playing a role in the shooting rampage.
The Journal-Sentinel said Cook cannot legally have a gun in her possession because she has a prior felony conviction. The paper said Cook, like Page, was known to the Anti-Defamation League, which had tracked what the group described as her participation, along with Page, in white supremacist online forums.
Hill could not confirm the time or circumstances of the arrest or give any other details.
Laris reported from Oak Creek, Wis.