Washington,USA: Two police officers who saved hundreds of lives after a white supremacist gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin in August have described the horror of that day in their first televised interview.
In an interview with CBS News, Police Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda recalled that on a bright Sunday morning in August, a man with a gun walked into a Sikh temple in Oak Creek and started shooting. He killed six people and might have killed more, had it not been for two police officers.
The officers said that it was 10:26 in the morning when Oak Creek police got the first calls. “There is a guy in the church shooting with a gun,” the dispatcher said. Murphy recalled that he arrived first at the Sikh temple and found two bodies in the parking lot. “I need an ambulance. I do not see a shooter anywhere,” Murphy was heard telling dispatchers in recordings from that day. Just seconds after he arrived in the temple parking lot, he got out of the car and chased the gunman, Wade Michael Page. “I moved forward and realized that, very quickly, that this is probably the guy that we”re looking for,” Murphy recalled.
The officer said that Page was armed with a nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol. “That”s when he raised his gun and we probably shot close to the same time,” Murphy recalled, adding: “The first shot took me here. And that”s why my voice is the way it is.” Surveillance video showed Page running towards Murphy, who was on the ground wounded and out of frame. Page had shot Murphy 12 times.
“He shot me in the back of the skull,” Murphy said, adding: “As silly as it sounds, I thought to myself, ”Is that not enough?”” Murphy said Page showed no emotion. “I had expected there to be, like, most people, some kind of — whether it”s excitement or anger or something. But there was nothing,” Murphy said.
He said that about two dozen people were hiding in and around the temple when Officer Sam Lenda, the best marksman on the force, raced to the scene. “I”m just stepping out here when the windshield explodes,” Lenda explained, demonstrating on his police car. “I”m just stepping out here when the windshield explodes.”
Lenda hit Page at a range of 60 yards. The wounded gunman, however, shot himself in the head.