Sikh Temple’s President Brought A Knife to a Gunfight


According to, Satwant Singh Kaleka, president of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, “died standing up to the horror of a gunman’s attack on his house of worship in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek. Kaleka, 65, managed to find a simple butter knife in the temple and tried to stab the shooter before being shot twice near the hip or upper leg . . . ‘Whatever time he spent in that struggle gave the women time to get cover in the kitchen,’ [his son Amardeep Singh] Kaleka said.”


  1. avatar Rydak says:

    I wish he had a chance to fight properly with a gun. But I admire the spirit and the bravery of his defensive attack. Rest easy Sir.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Taking on a gunman with a butter knife?

      I have no words adequate to describe that level of courage.

      1. avatar Levi B says:

        He was selfless and brave beyond words. A sheepdog defending his flock the best he could, no matter the circumstances.

        1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

          I hope he’s the one we remember, and not the coward who took his life.

    2. avatar ready,fire,aim says:


    3. avatar bontai Joe says:

      I totally agree, taking on a shooting bad guy with a butter knife takes a lot of courage, probably more than I’ll ever have. And I agree that this is the guy that should be remembered, and not the nut-job that did the shooting.

  2. avatar Kaliope says:

    Herosim like that makes me proud to be human. This man, under-armed as he was, stood up in the face of impossible odds, knowing that they were impossible, to save others.

    “There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend”-Christian Hymn. Doesn’t just apply to Christians though, as this man has shown us with crystal clarity. May he rest well.

    1. avatar Ole says:

      Amen. Well said.

    2. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      “There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend” is John 15:13, the words and later in the narrative the example, of the Savior Himself.

    3. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      “There is no greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for a friend” is John 15:13. These are the words, and later in the narrative the example, of the Savior Himself.

  3. avatar Sam C says:

    Actually, from what I read, it was his kirpan. Sikh men are required by their religion to carry a large knife called a kirpan and use it to defend themselves or others whenever it is necessary to do so.

    1. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

      The kirpan is ceremonial, and is not usually sharpened.

      1. avatar Sam Wright says:

        Maybe it’s time they rethink that and develope a tactical kirpan.

      2. avatar J says:

        It is one of the ritual obligations of Sikhs to carry the Kirpan to defend the weak, innocent, and helpless. However, because of so many anti-knife laws in the US (and around the world) the Kirpans most Siks carry is a ritual decoration and not the weapon is supposed to be. The only way to comply with “dirk and dagger” laws is to have a kirpan that is as dull as a ruler.

  4. avatar Mike S says:

    Sleep well, my courageous friend.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Unfortunately, in many places in the US Sikh men are denied the right to carry the kirpan by the insane laws that allow a pistol to be carried with a permit but ban the carry of useful knives. I don’t know if such is the case in WI.

    1. avatar Sebudei says:

      WI allows open carry of knives. CC requires the same permit as handguns. No length limits in the statutes, but switchblades are verboten.

  6. avatar g says:

    What a courageous man… rest in peace.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    courage of this type deserves our honor. whether this man would have carried a gun i don’t know. but the next time a panty wetter says that a ccw in civilian hands would have done no good remind them that this brave man saved lives with a kitchen utensil.

  8. avatar Dracon1201 says:

    I have incredible respect for this man, peace to him and his family in the wake of this tragedy.

  9. avatar Aharon says:

    Rest in Peace.

  10. avatar Accur81 says:

    For demonstrating courage under fire, you are a hero in my book, sir.

  11. avatar Philthegardner says:

    You bring honor to your creed and died as a true warrior befitting your name: Singh.

  12. avatar YEPPERS says:

    Well said by many…I mourn your death, brave man.

  13. avatar Frank says:

    And he had an awesome mustache.

  14. avatar Kelly in GA says:

    One day, if I’m put in a situation like that, I hope I can show half his bravery. That is how I’d like to go out, after a long fulfilling life, doing what it takes to save family and friends.
    I pray for your family sir, may they find peace in your bravery, and comfort in your rest.

    God bless.

  15. avatar Ike says:

    I, too, understand he attacked the shooter with his kirpan. That takes a level of courage and honor far beyond what most of us will ever understand – let alone experience. Satwant Singh Kaleka did what an entire theater audience in Aurora failed to do – he acted – to protect his gurdwara and gave others time to seek shelter.

    From this old vet, Satwant Singh Kaleka, I salute you.

    1. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

      I was going to post on this link, but you said it better than I would have. Well spoken.

  16. avatar Dan says:

    I am a bit offended by the flip title of this page. 

    He didn’t bring anything to a gun fight, the gun fight came to him. 

    It’s a tragedy that hate, ignorance and violence exist in this world. 

    The Sikhs I know (observant or not), know the value of our right to keep and bear arms. If not for a man with a butter knife (or kirpan maybe) and two armed police officers, the military trained murderer would have done much worse. 

    The main value of firearm carry that I can see is practical deterrence. I would love to see nation wide shall issue or no permit CCW and women taking advantage of it. If every crook who saw a woman with a purse thought she was packing a .22, violent crime would be almost nonexistent. 

    Let’s work on stopping tragedies before they start rather than disarming people and creating victims. 

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      A title or headline usually contains a cliche’, catch-phrase or a play on words. In this case, it’s hype (or hyperbole). Don’t take it personally.

    2. avatar Tim says:

      I agree with Dan’s comment, at the least the title is pretty insensitive and goes a little too far beyond tasteful limits to promote the agenda of this site. I think the people that died here deserve to me more than a cliche’.

      1. avatar Joshua Dale says:

        I agree with the criticism of the title. The article is clearly intended to praise the hero’s courage, but the title is derisive of him. The title uses a saying that is recognized as a criticism of someone’s lack of preparation for a battle or lack of understanding of the terms of engagement. Heretofore, I am unaware of a single instance where the saying was not used in in a critical or mocking way.

        Yet, as others have pointed out, the hero was not felled due to lack of reasonable preparation. Unlike crime-ridden areas, no one has suggested that the hero was on notice that his gurdwara would be attacked and that he needed to be prepared to defend himself by carrying a weapon. There is no trend of attacking Sikh gurdwaras in this country. This attack was, by all accounts, unpredictable.

        Whether Mr. Farago was intending to mock the hero or not, the continued use of that title does just that. To truly reflect the theme of the story, and honor the hero, the title should be changed to something like, “Sikh man used knife to buy women precious time to escape shooting.”

  17. avatar APBTFan says:

    He definitely lived up to the Sikh warrior tradition. All throughout history the Sikhs have been no joke and we see that to this day. Rest proud in peace good sir.

  18. avatar Tim says:

    Of course nobody is discussing how disgusting and shameful a hate crime such as this really is. Wiki Sikhism and get a lesson on a incredibly peaceful non-western religion. Of course the coward white supremecists don’t care, they want anyone who doesn’t look like them out of “their” country. Gun control won’t fix ignorance and hate.

  19. avatar jwm says:

    i dredged this up from my distant memories. a travel guide to india advised travelers who needed assistence to look for mr. singh. it noted that women who were traveling alone and felt frightened or wary should find mr. singh. if you had a breakdown with your vehicle seek a shop owned by mr. singh.

    1. avatar M&P 9 L says:

      The name Singh is everywhere in India, its much like how there are many un-related people named Smith in the US

  20. avatar Age Quod Agis says:

    Too bad it wasn’t a Kukri. The shooter deserved a more violent death.

  21. avatar freeport56 says:

    Sikh’s are a Warrior religion, Satwant Singh Kaleka was trying to live up the tenants of that religion by defending himself and protecting others. He died fighting back, a man to be respected and admired. May he Rest in Peace.

  22. avatar Joseph says:

    I am not a very religious person but I have know a few Sikh’s in my life both while I was in service over sea’s and here in the US… I admired their strength of faith and belief for many years before (9/11). After every US born Sikh and even those who had been still immigrants (that I knew of) volunteered to join the army or marines to take vengeance on those who had attacked their home/new home. All that died at that temple (except the racist) should be remembered and given the highest honor, for I believe they all did what they could to stop that (racist bigot).
    I have always been envious of their beliefs and faith in the world, their home, and each other. In my opinion as a 1st generation (in my family) American, that they display the Idea of what America is suppose to be and should be examples of what to strive for… Though myself I fall short, very short of their believes.

  23. avatar Jeff Barnes says:

    Why not put up a fund in the man’s honor? Donate the fund as help and support for those in the tragedy. We read so much garbage in the world that makes me cringe. Now I carry whenever and wherever I can.

    Here is someone from a different background, religion, and society, yet I admire the man for his guts to stand up for himself. It would say something to all those liberal gun grabbers that we are different than those hate mongering racist. We believe in our right to bare arms. This man believed in this country and the freedom for his own pursuit of happiness. He died protecting his family and loved ones.

    I for one would be willing to to put money towards this fund, if TTAG is willing to organize, count me in!

  24. avatar Hunter says:

    Went out like a real man.

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