Two shot at Indian place of worship in US during celebration

Of the two gunmen, one still remains at large while the other is in the hospital


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Published: Mon 27 Mar 2023, 8:38 AM

Two people were shot at a Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship) in the US state of California, with authorities ruling out the incident as a hate crime.

The shooting took place on Sunday around 2.30pm at the Gurdwara Sacramento Sikh Society, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Amar Gandhi.

The shooting took place during the Gurdwara’s first Nagar Kirtan, a traditional neighbourhood celebration for Indian religions such as Sikhism.

Gandhi said a fistfight had broken out between two men on the temple grounds, the Sacramento Bee newspaper reported.

One of the men, Gandhi said, shot a friend of the other combatant. The second man involved in the fight then fired upon the first man and ran off. That second man remains at large, Gandhi said.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Gandhi said the shooting is not related to a hate crime and described the incident as a shootout between two men who knew each other, the portal reported.

Gandhi said the confrontation between the two men started as a hand-to-hand incident and turned into a shootout. One of the suspects is described as an Indian male while the other suspected shooter is in the hospital, Gandhi said.

Asked if there was an imminent threat to the area, the Indian-origin police official said the situation “looks very contained.” “It puts a small stain on this peaceful, very joyous day,” he said.

The two people who were wounded were hospitalised at Kaiser Permanente hospital in south Sacramento with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Around 3.30pm deputies were seen walking two men out of the parade in handcuffs, though it was unclear if either was involved in the incident.

The men were placed into the back of separate Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles as a crowd of dozens of people watched in near silence, many holding phones up to record the events. Deputies were expected to remain at the scene through the evening combing through eyewitness statements and cellphone video.

The society on Sunday held a parade as part of the Nagar Kirtan festivities.


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