Sikh community mourns Indianapolis FedEx mass shooting

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OAK CREEK, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Sikh community is mourning Friday as news of their loved ones killed or injured in Indianapolis reaches friends and family.

As least four of the victims of the FedEx shooting are members of the faith.

Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee Executive Director Pardeep Kaleka said Sikhs are tight-knit, being both an ethnic and religious minority.

They're asking law enforcement to investigate the FedEx shooting as a hate crime.

For eight families, their life has changed forever, and so picking up the pieces, the Sikh community, being such a small community, will rally around these eight families," said Kaleka.

He said this shooting hurts deeply because it's close to home.

"For us it brings back memories of what happened here on Aug. 5, 2012," said Kaleka.

A gunman murdered six Sikhs in Oak Creek that day nearly a decade ago. Now, another gunman murdered at least four more in Indianapolis.

"We know that there are lives that are going to be shattered tonight, we are praying for them and hopefully the world is praying for them," said Kaleka.

He said police need to investigate the Indianapolis shooting as a hate crime, looking for links to any ethnic, religious or racial bias.

A significant number of the victims were Sikhs, I think that because there is such a percentage of Sikhs that work at that facility, we are asking authorities to treat it as -- investigate it as a hate crime," said Kaleka.

He said the country also needs to do something to stanch the flow of blood from mass shootings.

"I feel like I'm saying it too many times, thoughts and prayers to the families of, and you fill in the blank. Violence has become an epidemic," said Kaleka.

The Oak Creek temple made significant security changes after the shooting.

But Kaleka said we're living in a society where safety has to be on everyone's mind.

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