Officials say a white supremacist who went on a shooting rampage inside a Sikh temple before being killed by law enforcement was an Army veteran who served for about six years and was stationed at Fort Bliss in the 1990s, according to a CBS News report.

Witnesses say 40-year-old Wade Michael Page walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in suburban Milwaukee on Sunday morning and opened fire, murdering six people and critically wounding three more, including a police officer. It's likely he mistook the Sikhs for Muslims.

According to the CBS report and military authorities, Page was a military veteran who joined the Army in 1992 as a repairman for the Hawk missile system. He served at Fort Bliss in the psychological operations unit in 1994 before being discharged in 1998.

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said Page was a “frustrated neo-Nazi” who had spent the last decade as part of the white-power music scene, playing in bands with names like Definite Hate and End Apathy whose songs have lyrics that talk about carrying out genocide against Jews and other minorities.

But since Potok added there’s no research showing that white supremacists hate Sikhs, Sunday’s attack was almost certainly the result of Page mistaking his victims for Muslims or Arabs.

Although there are about a half-million Sikhs in the US, the majority of the 500-year-old religion’s 27 million followers live in India. But since 9/11, Sikhs have inadvertently become targets of anti-Muslim bias, with the New York-based Sikh Coalition reporting more than 700 hate crimes and fielding thousands of complaints about workplace discrimination and racial profiling.

[Associated Press]