FBI investigating ties between gunman and supremacist groups
The Associated Press August 6, 2012 8:20PM
Updated: September 8, 2012 6:17AM
OAK CREEK, Wis. — Before he strode into a Sikh temple with a 9mm handgun and multiple magazines of ammunition, Wade Michael Page played in white supremacist heavy metal bands with names such as Definite Hate and End Apathy.
The bald, heavily tattooed bassist was a 40-year-old Army veteran who trained in psychological warfare and was discharged more than a decade ago.
A day after he killed six worshippers at the suburban Milwaukee temple, fragments of Page’s life emerged in public records and interviews. But his motive was still largely a mystery. He left no hate-filled manifesto, no angry blog or ranting Facebook entries.
Page, who was shot to death by police, joined the Army in 1992 and was discharged in 1998. He was described Monday by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “frustrated neo-Nazi” who had long been active in the obscure underworld of white supremacist music.
In a 2010 interview, Page told a white supremacist website that he became active in white-power music in 2000, when he left his native Colorado and started the band End Apathy in Nashville, N.C., in 2005.
Page joined the military in Milwaukee in 1992. He become one of the Army’s psychological operations specialists assigned to a battalion at Fort Bragg, N.C. He never deployed overseas while serving in that role, the Pentagon said.
Page was demoted in June 1998 for getting drunk while on duty and going AWOL, two defense officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Outside Fayetteville, N.C., a brick ranch house Page bought in 2007 with help from a Veterans Administration mortgage stood boarded up Monday. A notice taped to the front indicated the home was in foreclosure.
In Wisconsin, Page responded to a recent online ad seeking a roommate in Cudahy, a small city outside Milwaukee.
Kurt Weins, who placed the ad, said Page moved in June 23 with only a television set, telling him he had recently broken up with his girlfriend and needed a place to stay.
“He seemed pretty calm,” Weins said. “He didn’t seem like the type to raise his voice.”
Federal officials said the gun used in the attack had been legally purchased.