Sikh Temple Shooting Suspect Grew Up In Colo.

Wade Michael Page's Stepmother Says He Changed After Joining Military

7News has learned that the 40-year-old suspected gunman in the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin grew up in Colorado.

Wade Michael Page's stepmother is asking the same questions the entire country is asking.

"We don't know how this happened or it where it came from," a weeping Laurie Page told 7NEWS reporter Marc Stuart outside her Denver home.

Wade Page, described as a white supremacist and Army veteran, is accused of killing six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., Sunday before he was shot and shot and killed by police.

His stepmother, however, said as boy, Wade Page "was gentle and kind" and he had a diverse group of friends, including many who were black and Hispanic.

"We went fishing. We went camping. We went to the zoo. We did all of those things," Laurie Page said.

She said Wade Page changed after leaving home.

Laurie Page didn't recognize his picture when it was broadcast on television.

She feels his racist views formed while in the military. "If you want to get down to it, to my gut feeling (is), 'Yes.' But I'll never know that," his stepmother said.

Laurie Page expressed her sorrow to the victims in Wisconsin.

"My heart goes out to those people," she said. "I am as devastated for them. All I can do is put them in my prayers."

The last time the family had contact with Wade Page was about three weeks ago, when he sent his grandmother some flowers. His father called him, but Wade never called him back, his stepmother said.

CALL7 Investigator Keli Rabon dug into Wade Page's background.

The ex-soldier caught the attention of the Anti-Defamation League as the leader of a white-power band called End Apathy, who covered himself with racist tattoos.

"I will carry on their fight with my clinched fist," the singer screams in one of the band's songs. "This is my life, this is my land, this is my home."

Scott Levin, director for the Anti-Defamation League's Mountain Region, said Page used that music as a way to spread the message of hate.

"I think anytime that we recognize people that identify with this movement, people who really want to talk about a violent overthrow in the United States, one that would eradicate anyone that didn't look like them, that's something for all of us to be concerned about."

Many times, a person joins the white-power movement because they "are disaffected and are not members of any other group and they're looking for membership with other people," Levin said.

Page had no serious criminal history in Colorado.

He was charged with DUI in Denver in 1999 and pleaded guilty, according to court records. But a year later, Page violated his probation and an arrest warrant was issued.

Seven years later, the drunken driving case was administratively closed.

In the Army, Page was a psychological operations specialist, officials told 7NEWS.

ABC News reported that Page was reduced in rank from sergeant to specialist, but it's unclear why.

Report a typo or inaccuracy
If you have a news tip or a follow-up to this story, e-mail us.

Print this article Back to Top