Oak Creek officers honored for bravery during Sikh Temple shooting

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by Mike Strehlow

Oak Creek--  Five days of ceremonies marking the two-year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shooting came to an emotional end Wednesday as the first two officers on the scene that day received congressional honors. 

Retired Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda received the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery during a ceremony at the Oak Creek Community Center. 

Murphy was shot 15 times during a gunfight to a white supremacist who had just killed six worshipers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.  "It is our responsibility to look after ourselves, to look after our family, to look after our neighbors and friends, and for people who are in need"  Murphy said during the ceremony attended by family, friends, colleagues, Sikh Temple members, and elected officials. 

Fellow officer Sam Lenda arrived seconds later and may have saved Murphy's life by wounding the shooters Wade Michael Page, who later took his own life.  Lenda told the crowd, "I stand humble in acceptance if this honor knowing it was paid for with the blood of fellow citizens, of immigrants who aspire to an American dream and by foreign nationals who came to this great nation".

Also recognized were eight local attorneys who voluntarily assisted family members of the shooting victims.  They received the United State Department of Justice's Distinguished Public Service award.
 

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