Dozens of Queens Sikhs joined the mayor in Richmond Hill, including one man who lost an uncle in the Milwaukee shooting, to offer their support and condolences to the families of those who were killed.
“I think it fair to say New Yorkers of every faith are joining the Sikh community in praying for the recovery of those gravely wounded in that terrible attack,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Before meeting with the press, Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly sat down with Sikh leaders at the Sikh Cultural Center to personally offer their condolences to the religious community.
Approximately 15,000 Sikhs live in Richmond Hill and the surrounding areas.
Mohan Singh Khatra, whose uncle was among the six killed at a shooting inside a Milwaukee temple, said he was not angry, but sad. Khatra said he had spoken to his uncle, Suved Singh, about 12 hours before the shooting and discussed an upcoming visit.
“I feel really bad because we never can see him again,” Khatra said.
Immediately following the shooting in Wisconsin, police officers were dispatched to city Sikh temples to prevent any copy cat crimes.
The president of the Richmond Hill temple bemoaned the fact that this took place at a religious institution.
“People go for worship; they are praying to God and they get killed,” said Gurdev Singh Kang. “Their loved ones were home and they are not going back home.”
Harpreet Singh Toor, a spokesperson for the Richmond Hill temple, said he always felt safe in New York City.
“No matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter what religion you profess you have a right to be safe in your homes, your places of worship and on the streets of New York City,” the mayor said. “We have no tolerance for intolerance or for lawless violence.”