NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD increased coverage around Sikh temples in New York City on Sunday in the wake of an earlier shooting in Wisconsin.
The NYPD also deployed Critical Response Vehicles, authorities confirmed.
There is no known threat against Sikh temples in New York City, officials said, but the measure has been put into effect as a precaution.
Seven people were killed and three were wounded on Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, authorities said. All three of the wounded are in critical condition, according to hospital officials.
The suspected shooter later died in an exchange of gunfire with police.
Police were called to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning, when witnesses said that several dozen people were gathering for a service.
Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt said the first officer to arrive encountered a man that police believe was the shooter. The two exchanged gunfire, and the suspect was killed, he said.
The uncle of a Sikh man from Richmond Hill, Queens was among the victims of Sunday’s shooting. Mohan Singh Katra told 1010 WINS reporter Carol D’Auria that his uncle was “very devoted to his temple.”
1010 WINS reporter Carol D’Auria was at the Sikh Cultural Society…
The FBI will be handling the investigation; authorities have evacuated homes in the area north of the temple in the town of Cudahy.
The FBI arrived with an armored truck, a trailer, and other vehicles. The bomb squad was also on the scene.
Sikh rights groups have reported a rise in bias attacks since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Washington-based Sikh Coalition has reported more than 700 incidents in the U.S. since 9/11, which advocates blame on anti-Islamic sentiment. Sikhs don’t practice the same religion as Muslims, but their long beards and turbans often cause them to be mistaken for Muslims, advocates say.
The alleged gunman had a 9/11 tattoo, according to a witness.
There are roughly 500,000 Sikhs in the U.S., according to estimates. The majority worldwide live in India.
On Sunday President Obama announced that he and First Lady Michelle Obama were “deeply saddened,” by the shooting and called the Sikhs “a part of our broader American family.”
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