Oak Creek Gurdwara heroes to receive a high honor

File Photo: A memorial near the entrance of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
File Photo: A memorial near the entrance of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

Oak Creek, WI, USA—It’s been almost two years since a man with a gun started shooting in a place of worship.

Six people were killed at the Sikh temple [Gurdwara] in Oak Creek in August 2012.

Just in time for the anniversary, retired police Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda will receive the Congressional Badge of Bravery.

“That’s really what this represents, is when times are bad and times are tough, law enforcement comes.,” Murphy said. 

Murphy took at least 15 bullets as he traded gunfire with the man who attacked the Sikh temple.

“My leg still acts up now and again, or my throat. When the weather cools off, my hands will start hurting. That’s the legacy of it,” Murphy said. 

It was Lenda who fired the shot that knocked Wade Michael Page down. Page eventually killed himself.

U.S. Attorney James Santelle talked to WISN 12 News on Friday about this rare honor.

“We are just delighted and honored to be able to present to two very important officers of our law enforcement community this special recognition acknowledging their tremendous support, their service, their responsive law enforcement action on Aug. 5 of 2012, and saving lives and protecting the community and ensuring that we’re all safe,” Santelle said.

“The crux of this all is, we don’t get to choose. It chooses us, and how you respond is what your legacy will be,” Murphy said.

His life was saved by a bulletproof vest, and now Murphy is working for a body armor company as well as being employed in several additional roles.

Saturday morning, the Sikh temple is holding a run-walk at Oak Creek High School. The event will raise money for scholarships, in memory of the shooting victims.


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