HAYWARD -- As chaos unfolded at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, Charnjit Singh's wife told him she had a call from Milwaukee: His cousin, Parkash Singh, had been shot in the eye during the rampage and was in critical condition.
Six hours later, there was another call: Parkash, along with three other priests who were from Charnjit's village in India, were dead, along with two other people and the gunman who had killed them all.
The other priests were like family to Charnjit, 49, a Hayward resident and a priest himself at a Sikh gurdwara, or place of worship, he said in Punjabi through a translator.
While the full extent of the tragedy was still unknown, Charnjit led temple worshippers Sunday in a prayer servicefor the dead -- including the gunman, as yet unidentified. Sukhvinder Singh, 57, who translated for Charnjit, said the local Sikh community was "totally in shock."
"It really hit home, especially (since) it happened at a gurdwara," Sukhvinder said. "Nobody can conceptualize something like that happening at a place where you worship and pray for the whole of humanity."