QUEENS, N.Y. — At a candlelight prayer vigil Sunday outside the Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill, Queens, nearly 100 worshipers gathered in solidarity to call for stricter gun control laws.
What You Need To Know
- A prayer vigil outside Sikh Cultural Society in Richmond Hill attracted nearly 100 worshipers
- It was organized after authorities identified four victims who died in Thursday’s mass shooting at a Fed Ex facility in Indianapolis as Sikh
- Worshipers called for what they consider stricter, more sensible gun control laws
The vigil was organized, after it was revealed that four of the eight victims from Thursday’s mass shooting at a Fed Ex facility in Indianapolis identified as Sikh.
“The Sikh community is very very sad right now!” said Buda Singh, Chairman of the Sikh Cultural Society.
Buda Singh, the chairman of the Sikh Cultural Society, and Jatinder Boparai, the group’s president, say while authorities have not yet identified a motive for the shooting, there is no doubt over how upset they are that four members from their Sikh community are now dead.
They were killed after authorities in Indiana said the 19-year old gunman, Brandon Scott Hole, was able to legally purchase two rifles that he allegedly used in the shooting, just months after local and federal authorities were made aware of his mental instability and a shotgun was seized from his home.
“Why didn’t they take him to the hospital?” asked Boparai. “Why didn’t they get treatment? Why didn’t they do it? Why they wait so long, to kill other people?”
“They have to do something for gun control,” said Singh. “Last time was in Wisconsin, in Sikh temple. They had a shooting, and so many in my Sikh community died over there.”
That mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin from August 2012, claimed the lives of eight people, including the gunman, and it was still fresh on the minds of many worshipers who were at Sunday’s vigil in Queens.
Gurdev Singh Kang, one of the city’s Human Rights Commissioners, tells NY1 until authorities are able to confirm that the shooting in Indiana was not in any way motivated by religion, he wants the NYPD to provide more patrols by Sikh temples.
“After 9/11, anywhere something happen,” said Kang. “We at the Sikh community are scared and we need more security over here."