American Dispatch: A Community United In Mourning

By FOX News Radio’s Jeff Monosso, in Oak Creek, Wisconsin

I’ve covered several mass shootings before, but for me this one was different.

I was fresh off a trip to Aurora, Colorado, covering the recent mass shooting in a movie theatre that left twelve people dead. Then I got the call to head to Wisconsin. There had been another mass shooting in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek. This time it was at a place of worship, a place of peace. Six people died, three people were injured, before the gunman took the 9-millimeter handgun he had purchased just one week earlier to himself.

40-year-old Wade Michael Page has devastated not only family and friends of those he murdered, and the Sikh community, but most everyone here. Life all of a sudden feels more fragile, and people feel less safe.

The day after the shooting, I remember speaking to members of the Sikh community, as they recalled what they saw that day.  A man with a gun, who had a blank look on his face, as he unloaded his gun.

This woman broke down as she described seeing the President of the Temple shot several times, and dropping to the ground. She says she felt like she was next.

As a journalist, when you cover these stories, you learn to separate yourself from these kind of stories, but as a human being, they’re all devastating.  You’re always left wondering why, but you rarely ever get the answer. I’m from Milwaukee, so this one hits home. It hurts to see people here suffering from the kind of pain that no one should ever have to endure.

While this community is devastated, it’s also united. Thousands attending public and private services at a local high school Friday for the six victims killed. People of all faiths and races have come together in a show of support for the Sikh community, and for local police, who saved lives.  That’s the Wisconsin that I know.  As the Oak Creek Mayor put it, “We’re gonna get through this”.

LISTEN to some of Jeff Monosso’s reporting from Oak Creek, Wisconsin: