OAK CREEK, WI, USA— First lady Michelle Obama met at a private session Thursday at Oak Creek High School with victims and families of those killed in the Aug. 5 massacre at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
She spoke briefly with temple secretary Kulwant Dhaliwal and Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi, telling them, almost in a whisper, “It’s my honor to be here with you. I’m sorry it’s under these circumstances, but I am anxious to meet with the families and lend whatever support I can.”
Obama did not take questions from the media during the greeting, and reporters were not allowed in when she met with victims. It was not immediately clear how long she intended to visit with victims and their families. Those who turned out said they were eager to meet with her.
“He’s very excited,” Gurjeet Singh said of his uncle, Santokh Singh, who was critically injured in the shooting by white supremacist Wade Michael Page that left seven people dead, including the gunman, and four injured. “He can hardly walk or stand because of the stitches, but we’re going,” Gurjeet Singh said.
Santokh Singh was released from Froedtert Hospital last week, and Oak Creek Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot at least eight times by Page, was released Wednesday. A third victim, Punjab Singh, remains in critical condition on life support.
Six others were killed in the rampage: temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka; three priests, Prakash Singh and brothers Sita and Ranjit Singh; Paramjit Kaur; and Suveg Singh Khattra.Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org