Child heroes who spotted the man with a gun outside
Women at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin were busily preparing lunch in the community kitchen on Sunday when two children burst in and screamed frantically they had seen a man with a gun outside.
People began running in every direction, and 14 women, along with the two children, rushed into a narrow pantry in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek. There was no lock and so the women pressed their bodies up against the door to keep anyone from entering, witnesses said.
“Everyone was falling on top of one another,” said Parminder Toor, 54, speaking in Punjabi as her daughter-in-law, Jaskiran Kaur, translated. “It was dark and we were all crammed in.”
The children had been playing near a window in another room when they saw the gunman. Family members desperately called relatives who they knew to be at the temple and warned late-comers to stay away.
In the pantry, the women and the two children huddled together for more than two hours, as smoke and the smell of hot cooking oil from the abandoned skillets filled the air.
One of the women who made it into the pantry had been shot in the hand, and there was blood everywhere, said Ms Toor, who was born in India and has been worshiping at the temple since it opened five years ago.
She described the two children as heroes.
“They were telling all the women to be still and to be brave, and they were telling the women not to cry,” said Ms Toor.
“They are the heroes who saved the women in the closet.”