Satwant Singh Kaleka attacked suspected Wisconsin Sikh temple shooter Wade Michael Page shortly after the shooting rampage started, wounding Page and buying valuable time that others used to escape.
Police reportedly told his son, Amar Deep Kaleka, that Satwant Singh Kaleka “attacked the intruder or the shooter in the lobby [of the temple] after gunshots were fired,” NPR reported. The elder Kaleka apparently attacked Page with a knife, wounding him badly enough that the alleged shooter left blood trails as he continued on his shooting rampage.
The trails were large enough that the Wade was “slowed … enough so that other people could get to safety,” the younger Kaleka said.
The suspect was later killed by police but not before killing six people and critically wounding three others.
Amar Deep Kaleka said on Milwaukee’s TMJ4-TV that his father died trying “to protect the temple, his family, his wife and all his friends.”
Though he was crushed at the loss of his father, Amar Deep Kaleka spoke highly of the man’s dying actions. He told the television station:
“The FBI told me…they shook my hand a number of times: Your father was a hero. He attacked the shooter in the lobby after gunshots were fired, got to him. There was a blood struggle. At that point, closer to my mind was that my father did the best to protect the temple, but also my family and the people who were there. It’s an amazing act of heroism, but it’s also exactly who he was. There was no way on God’s green earth that he would allow that…he probably bled out and nobody could get to him in time to pull him to safety.”
Satwant Singh Kaleka was president of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin as well as one of the founders. He was seen as a positive force for temple members, bringing them together in a good community.