Sikh American Man Murdered in Wisconsin StoreAugust 17th, 2012
This morning, the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) was saddened to learn of the shooting death of Dalbir Singh in Milwaukee, Wisconsin late Wednesday night. This terrible incident follows just ten days after the tragic shooting at the Oak Creek Gurdwara that left six dead and several wounded.
Reports indicate that Mr. Singh was shot and killed during an attempted armed robbery at his store. Mr. Singh was part of the Oak Creek Sangat, but was not present during the shooting that occurred on August 5, 2012 at the gurdwara.
Earlier this evening, SALDEF spoke with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) and learned that they have “people of interest” in custody at this time. A Lieutenant from MPD also stated that while this is an ongoing investigation, there is currently no evidence to indicate that this crime was motivated by anything other than a desire to obtain money from the victims. The US Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, James Santelle, however, has assured the community that his office and law enforcement will look at this case critically and ensure that the motive of this crime is thoroughly investigated.
READ MORE: (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Since this incident occurred just 10 days following the mass shooting at the gudwara in Oak Creek, WI, SALDEF has asked local and federal authorities to be particularly cognizant of the current climate among the Sikh American community in the Milwaukee area. SALDEF has asked the authorities not to rule out the possibility that this crime may have been motivated by religious or racial bias.
SALDEF has also been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Milwaukee Field Office. They are aware of the crime, and while not actively involved, have an agent awaiting further reports from the MPD. SALDEF has additionally contacted the Department of Justice, Community Relations Service, as well as the office of US Attorney.
VIDEO: Man killed near 38th and Locust was member of Sikh Temple (FOX6 News)
While the Oak Creek community continues to heal following the August 5th shooting, we ask that community members keep Dalbir Singh and his family in their thoughts and prayers during this already difficult time.
SALDEF urges all Sikh Americans to immediately report any incidents of harassment, bullying or assault to SALDEF and your local authorities. If you or someone you know has been a victim of any racially motivated crime, please contact SALDEF directly at 202.403.0246 or via our Report an Incident Form.