Oak Creek,Wisconsin:– A Maryland man who walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin with ammunition and written references to a mass shooting in Colorado sipped tea with temple members before being detained by police, a temple spokesman said Thursday.
Police searched and questioned the man and released him after determining he intended no harm, according to Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal.
The incident occurred Sunday, almost three months after gunman Wade Michael Page killed six temple members and wounded three others before being shot by a police officer. Page then fatally shot himself.
According to a police report on the Sunday incident, from which the man’s identity was redacted:
Officers were called to the temple shortly after 8:30 a.m.
The man told police he had driven to the temple after seeing a newscast about the shootings and wanted to pray with temple members. He also said he was writing a book and wanted to talk to people at the temple.
Officers searched the man’s backpack and found “a large amount of zip ties and a roll of duct tape” and a notebook containing “strange writings” about the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., in July, and a piece of crime scene tape collected from that crime scene.
The report didn’t say how officers knew the crime scene tape was from Aurora.
In the man’s vehicle, the report said, officers found more zip ties and duct tape, several boxes of 9mm ammunition, gun cleaning supplies and an empty case from a Glock 9mm.
The report said the FBI was called and the man surrendered his ammunition.
According to Dhaliwal, members who noticed the man carrying a backpack and walking toward the temple’s dining room told him he had to remove his shoes before entering.
The man complied and entered the room. There, he drank tea while telling members he was working on a book. According to Dhaliwal, the man said he had also visited the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield, where on Oct. 21 gunman Radcliffe Haughton killed three employees, including his estranged wife, and wounded four others before fatally shooting himself.
Because of the temple shootings and because the man was unfamiliar, temple members called police as a precaution, Dhaliwal said.
“Everyone has always been welcome to come and pray with us and share a meal,” Dhaliwal said. “Now we are obviously extra vigilant.”
Police later told temple members the man was from Maryland and that they also found $4,000 in cash in his possession, the proceeds from the sale of two guns, Dhaliwal said.