UPDATE: Assembly honors Sikh Temple heroes - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Assembly honors Oak Creek officers involved in Sikh Temple Shooting


MADISON (WKOW) -- Two Oak Creek police officers watched the response to the Boston Marathon tragedy very closely Monday afternoon.

That's because Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda were first to respond to a similar tragedy last summer.

Assembly Democrats and Republicans put politics aside for a few moments Tuesday to give a standing ovation to Lt. Murphy and Officer Lenda, both of whom were given Hometown Hero Awards.

The officers put aside their safety to stop mass shooter Wade Michael Page on August 5th, 2012 at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, where Page killed six people and wounded four others.

"We did confront evil that day, and it walks among us," Officer Lenda told the Assembly.

"What we did is the same thing that you'd do, is to put yourself aside for the greater good," said Lt. Murphy, who arrived first on the scene and exchanged gunfire with Page.  Lt. Murphy took 15 bullets, three into his safety vest, the other twelve into his body.

"You never know what you're running into," said Lt. Murphy.

Officer Lenda responded next, shooting Page from 75 feet away, prompting the gunman to take his own life.

"I accept this award on behalf of all the law enforcement officers who responded that day," said Officer Lenda.  "It was not just Oak Creek." 

Murphy and Lenda say it wasn't just police either, in Oak Creek or Boston.

"Our hearts go out to those people in Boston, to those first responders out there like we talked before," said Officer Lenda.  "It wasn't just us."

Talking with the media, both officers expanded on their thoughts about the response to Monday's tragedy.

"When you look at the video no one hesitated. They just realized there were people in trouble and you do what you're paid to do, you do what you're made to do," said Lt. Murphy.

"I didn't just see blue there," said Officer Lenda.  "I watched a lot of the video on TV, I saw just citizens helping out - people taking off their shirts, people taking off their belts, using them as tourniquets.  I think it just shows the American people are a special people."


MADISON (WKOW) -- The State Assembly will honor two Oak Creek police officers who were first to respond to the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on August 5, 2012.

The Assembly will present Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda with its Hometown Hero Award at the beginning of its session Tuesday afternoon.

Lt. Murphy was first to respond to the scene and suffered 15 bullet wounds after exchanging gunfire with shooter Wade Michael Page.  He survived. Officer Lenda arrived next and also exchanged gunfire with Page, hitting the shooter from 75 feet away.  Page then took his own life.

The officers' efforts put an end to Page's shooting spree, which left six people dead and four wounded.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have more from the ceremony tonight in 27 News at 5 and 6. 




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