President Obama came back from his 51st birthday at Camp David to convene a briefing with FBI Director Bob Mueller, Chief of Staff Jack Lew, and Homeland Security Adviser John Brennan on the shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin that left six worshippers and the gunman dead.
Obama then called Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the mayor of Oak Creek, Wis., and trustee of the Sikh Temple Charanjeet Singh.
“Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin. At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded,” Obama said in a statement. “My Administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation. As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family.”
The White House said that Obama was informed that the shooter was a lone gunman who was killed by an Oak Creek police officer at the scene.
“The President said that he wanted to make sure that as we denounce this senseless act of violence we also underscore how much our country has been enriched by our Sikh Community, who are an integral part of our broader American family,” said the White House readout.
“This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship,” Mitt Romney said in a statement. “Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead.”
Walker released the following statement:
While the situation in Oak Creek continues to develop rapidly, we are working with the FBI and local law enforcement. I became aware of the situation late this morning and continue to receive updated briefings.
Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence.
At the same time, we are filled with gratitude for our first responders, who show bravery and selflessness as they put aside their own safety to protect our neighbors and friends.
Tonette and I ask everyone to join us in praying for the victims and their families, praying for the safety of our law enforcement and first responder professionals and praying for strength and healing for this entire community and our state.