WASHINGTON (AP) - An ex-Army man who was reduced in rank before his discharge, Wade Michael Page, carried out the shootings at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin that claimed six lives, a federal official said Monday.
The shooter also died in the incident.
The U.S. official declined to be named publicly, noting that he was not authorized to speak while the investigation is still ongoing. Page was described as being 40 years old.
A defense official said the suspect was discharged from the Army in 1998, but he declined to say whether Page received an honorable discharge. When he left the military, he was declared ineligible to re-enlist.
This official, too, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information yet about the suspect.
But the official told The Associated Press on Monday that Page entered the Army April 15, 1992, and was discharged in on Oct. 9, 1998. He said the man was busted in rank from sergeant to specialist, but he gave no reason.
His initial training in the military was at Fort Sill, Okla.,
Page joined the military in Milwaukee and was a repairman for the Hawk missile system at Fort Bliss in Texas. He later switched jobs to become one of the Army's psychological operations specialists, the official said.
The so-called "Psy-Ops" specialists are responsible for the analysis, development and distribution of intelligence used for information and psychological effect; they research and analyze methods of influencing foreign populations.
He later switched jobs to be a "psy-ops" specialist assigned to a battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)