Army Demoted, Discharged Sikh Temple Shooter
Wade Michael Page bought murder weapon days before the attack
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2012 7:26 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by the FBI on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012 shows Wade Michael Page, a suspect in the Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012, Sikh temple shootings in Oak Creek, Wis.   (AP Photo/FBI)

(Newser) – More is emerging on suspected Sikh temple gunman Wade Michael Page: The white supremacist and former Army soldier was demoted in rank and discharged in 1998, the LA Times reports. A military official didn't say why Page received a general discharge rather than an honorable one after 6 1/2 years of service. But a dishonorable discharge would have stopped him from buying the 9mm handgun he purchased July 28, picked up July 30, and used days later in the shooting, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Among other emerging details:

  • Lt. Brian Murphy, 51, was the first officer on the scene. He came upon a victim in the temple parking lot and was ambushed by Page, who shot him eight or nine times. When other officers arrived, Page fired on them and was killed by a policeman with a rifle. Murphy remains in critical condition.
  • Authorities said this morning they were trying to identify a white male who was a "person of interest." But FBI officials said later he was not relevant to the case.
  • Page was quiet and "not a friendly guy," said a neighbor. "You'd have more fun with a camel. He was very quiet. You'd say hi and he'd kind of 'uh.' It was like he didn't care if you were talking or not."
  • Page's grandmother, Elaine Lenz, called Page a good grandson who gave her a dozen roses last month "just to tell me he loved me," she said. "I'm sorry he has caused so much trouble."