At least seven people are thought to have been killed, including a suspect, in another mass shooting in the United States, this time at a Sikh temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek in the state of Wisconsin.
A police officer responded to an “unintelligible” emergency call at around 10.20 am, only to be shot several times on arrival. The officer, a 20-year police veteran, managed to shoot his assailant and is now in surgery.
The suspect is thought to be dead and remains at the scene outside the temple. It is thought four people have been killed inside the temple and two more outside.
SWAT teams are still doing “sweeps” of the temple and an estimated 100 people remain inside.
As news broke family and friends gathered outside the temple, a priest hiding in a bathroom was able to contact the son of a wounded victim by phone. Family, friends and media outside were warned not to call those who remained inside for fear their phones could give away their hiding places.
It was not until around 2.40pm US Central Time (5.30am this morning in Sydney), that police said they believed only one gunman was involved in the shooting, though the search of the temple continues.
Media have been asked not to show live footage of SWAT teams around the temple.
There is no known motive for the attack, but many Sikhs using social media say the believe the temple may have been targeted in the mistaken belief the Sikhs were Afghani Muslims.
When the attack began the congregation was beginning to gather for its Sunday worship, would have been attended by up to 500 people by 11am, followed by a community lunch in the early afternoon.
It is thought that at present the witnesses are being interviewed in the basement of the temple, while there are unconfirmed the assailant was a Caucasian male in his 30s.
It is thought three people, including the police officer, are being treated for gunshot wounds in hospital.