The bureau’s special agent in charge in Milwaukee, Teresa Carlson, said investigators have no information to suggest that anyone else was involved, but they continue to search to make sure.
Investigators probably will collect all the bullets and fragments from the temple and the victims’ bodies to confirm that they came from Page’s gun. Detectives also will pore over witness statements to make absolutely certain he was the only shooter, said Joe LeFevre, chairman of the forensic science department at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton.
Authorities will interview 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.
If agents seized a computer from his apartment, they likely will review the websites he visited and any writings he posted. If they recovered a cellphone, they will use it to follow his recent movements as the device shifted from one cell tower to the next.
“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, faces legal trouble herself. She was arrested on a tentative charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, South Milwaukee police said Tuesday. There was no immediate indication that her arrest was linked to Sunday’s shooting, and police refused to release additional information.
Details of Cook’s felony conviction weren’t immediately clear.
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.”
No matter how thorough the investigation, the final conclusions are bound to leave victims with many of the same anguish-filled questions.
“Whatever the answer is, we can be reasonably sure it won’t be an answer many people would say makes sense to them,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison law professor Michael Scott, who is writing a guidebook for police on hate crimes.
“We’d like to have some peek into that twisted mind. But in the end, it’s still a peek into a twisted mind that doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know about human nature.”
Todd Richmond can be reached at trichmond(at)ap.org. Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.
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