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NYC Sikh Community Rallies As Brooklyn-Born Officer Continues Recovery

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As local members of the Sikh community took part in a candlelight vigil in Union Square Wednesday to honor the victims of the Wisconsin temple shooting, the Brooklyn-born police officer who was injured in the shooting appears to be on the road to recovery.

There was near silence in Union Square Park Wednesday night as hundreds honored those killed Sunday in Wisconsin with a candlelight vigil.

"We're not going to stand for this type of thing," said one attendee. "This type of hatred needs to stop."

"Everyone's been effected by what happened a few days ago and I think coming together in solidarity is an important message," said another attendee.

Those in attendance thought of the six killed in the attack on the Sikh temple and the three fighting to survive.

"For there to be someone of a different color and faith probably to come in and just shoot is, like, just so disappointing to us because we open it to anybody, all faith, all creeds," said one attendee.

Members of the Sikh-American community also stood with people of multiple faiths at the White House. They talked of tolerance and understanding.

"We believe that you have no enemies," said Navdeep Singh, a policy advisor for the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. "You only have friends. You have an obligation to stand up for the rights of others and you have an obligation to show love and compassion."

On Sunday morning, Wade Michael Page opened fire at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Authorities announced Wednesday that Page died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an officer shot him in the stomach.

Page had years of ties to hate groups and many consider his attack a hate crime.

Sikh religious and city and state leaders gathered at City Hall Wednesday with messages of peace. There and at the vigil in Union Square, many also aimed to educate, explaining the religion of South Asian origin, which preaches equality among sexes and all faiths. Sikhs don't cut their hair and men wear turbans.

"It was the uniform that we were mandated to wear as Sikhs so that people knew they could come to us," said one attendee. "Whether it was for protection, for shelter, for food, you can always turn to a Sikh."

Lieutenant Brian Murphy, a Brooklyn native, was shot nine times while responding to the scene in Oak Creek, Wis. on Sunday. He may be on the road to recovery.

"Yesterday, he was up walking, up walking. We had him sitting up for a period of time. He's progressing amazingly. We're very, very thankful for that," said Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards.

Six Sikh worshippers were killed in the shooting.

Officials say it appears Page was working alone but they are investigating Page's links with white supremacy groups.

They are also interviewing his friends and family and pouring over evidence gathered from his home.

Right now, Page's motive is still a mystery.

Wednesday's candlelight vigil in Union Square was organized by the Manhattan Sikh Association.

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