A Sikh man holds a photo of Lt. Brian Murphy during a vigil in front of the White House on August 8, 2012 to commemorate the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting and other victims of hate. (source: Leader-Telegram. Photo cropped from photo by AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
When a gunman attacked a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, last August, killing six people and wounding four others, Lt. Brian Murphy, a 21-year veteran of the local police department, was the first officer to arrive on the scene. He exchanged gunfire with white supremacist Wade Michael Page and took 12 shots to his body, three to his protective vest.
Other officers soon arrived and tried to help him, but he waved them off, telling them to help the victims inside the gurudwara first.
The heroic officer, 52, decided to retire from the police force last month. “I didn’t heal enough for the doctors to deem me eligible to go back to work,” Murphy told TV station WISN 12.
He is contemplating a second career in teaching. He has already taught us a lot—on what it means to serve the public and put others ahead of yourself.
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