08/06/2012 10:36 am ET Updated Oct 06, 2012

With Prayers For One And All

Right on the heels of the immense tragedy in Aurora, Colo., our countrymen have witnessed another spree of senseless killing, this time in a place of worship. The Sikh Gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wis., has witnessed a terrible tragedy that leaves one at loss for words. Seven persons, including the gunman, have died, and three, including a police officer, have been seriously injured. While the motive for the shooting is still unclear, our whole country is much the poorer for it.

The Sikh world offers its condolences to the victims of the tragedy, their loved ones and their community. May God grant families of the deceased the strength to bear the loss of their loved ones, and grant healing and solace to the wounded hearts.

We offer our gratitude and condolences to the brave policemen who put their own lives in danger to defend further loss of life at the Gurdwara, and pray for quick and full recovery of the injured, including the police officer who has been injured while defending members of the congregation.

We are immensely grateful to our brothers and sisters from a broad spectrum of faiths and communities for their sentiments and messages of support.

Together, we will try our best to heal from this tragedy. Together we will try to bring peace to the misguided and troubled minds. Together we will ensure that no person and no community feels unsafe and intimidated by such senseless violence.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the tragedy, including the police officer, and their families.

A public statement issued by World Sikh Council - America Region:

The World Sikh Council - America Region (WSC-AR) is shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless shooting which occurred earlier today at the Sikh Gurdwara of Wisconsin in Oak Creek near Milwaukee, Wis. It has been reported that a suspect opened fire on a weekly congregation of the Sikhs while a reading of the Sikh scripture was in progress. Current reports say that there are seven deaths, including an assailant, and many injured. One brave police officer was also one of those injured.

WSC-AR offers its condolences and support to the victims, their families, the law enforcement agencies (especially the police officer shot in the line of duty) and the surrounding community. This is a troubling day, not only for Sikh-Americans, but also for all Americans.

In the coming days, along with Sikh advocacy organizations, we will be working with public officials, and law enforcement authorities, to understand the events of today and to help the community in whatever way we can. The Council will also be providing support mediums for our interreligious partners and the public as we sort out this situation. This shooting comes on the heels of another tragedy, as our country continues to recover from the senseless shootings in Aurora, Colo.

We urge all to pray for the victims, their families and friends, and the surrounding community. We also express our gratitude toward the law enforcement authorities for their prompt and effective response to the situation as it unfolded. We offer our appreciation for the bravery of the police officer shot, offer condolences, and pray that he will recover fully soon. As we learn more about the situation, we will keep the public updated and informed. We thank you for your patience and prayers during these difficult times.

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