SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

August 9, 2012

FBI: Temple gunman shot himself; motive unclear

(Continued)

Authorities are interviewing Page’s family, friends and associates. Agents spent Monday morning doing a door-to-door sweep on his street, chatting with neighbors on their front porches and in their backyards.

“It’s like any crime,” said Jack Ryan, a Rhode Island attorney who trains police around the country. “You focus on their recent tracks. You focus on friends, acquaintances. He had to get ready for this plot somewhere.”

The investigation could take weeks or longer. But Page’s motive is the key.

If detectives determine Page simply held a personal grudge, the Sikhs and the rest of the public will have an answer. If investigators conclude he was motivated by racist ideology, that might lead police to accomplices, help collect intelligence on white supremacist groups and prevent future attacks.

Page’s girlfriend, 31-year-old nursing student Misty Cook, faced some legal trouble herself, though Carlson said Wednesday that her arrest over the weekend was not connected to the shootings. Cook was arrested on a weapons violation Sunday after investigators interviewed her about Page, but Carlson said she was cooperative and was quickly released.

South Milwaukee police had said Cook was taken into custody on a tentative charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Milwaukee County sheriff’s spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin said Cook also went by the name Brenda Cook. Online court records show Brenda Cook pleaded no contest in 2005 to a felony charge of fleeing an officer.

The voicemail on Cook’s cellphone was full and wouldn’t accept a message. However, in regard to the shooting, she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in an email: “If I could say something to ease the pain of the victims and their families, I would gladly do so. Unfortunately, words do not begin to heal the pain they are going through.”

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