Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy (51), arrived at the scene of a 911 call just four minutes after the call came through directing him to the Sikh Temple. The shooter, Wade Michael Page who had already shot and killed 6 people and injured two others, lay in ambush of the approaching police car.
Officer Murphy arrived at the scene and rushed to help a wounded victim in the parking lot of the temple. He was shot eight to nine times at close range by Page’s 9mm, semi-automatic handgun. Backup arrived and killed the shooter, but when those officers tried to administer aid to Murphy, he refused help and ordered officers to go into the temple and help others.
The definition of hero comes to this writer’s mind and heart with a stab of truth as I read about this officer’s unselfish courage.
Hero: a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble (of an exalted moral or mental character or excellence) qualities.
The word hero is often overused in today’s society, being applied to everyone from football players to astronauts. In my mind, a true hero is the willingness to make a personal sacrifice (even endangering one’s own health and safety) for the benefit of another(s).
Murphy definitely meets that criteria for a hero! “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13. Lt. Murphy laid aside concerns for his own health and safety, potentially allowing his own death, for those who were not known to him. Those inside the temple were not known to him at the time, although they will no doubt become new friends as they discover this man’s sacrifice. Lt. Murphy was shot in the extremities and in his neck. According to Chief John Edwards, police Lt. Brian Murphy was alert and able to give a thumbs up when Edwards visited him in the hospital Yesterday.
There are festivities scheduled for tonight being termed National Night Out which will include a vigil at 8:30 p.m in Oak Creek. Members of the Sikh Temple will lead a flashlight walk to the Miller Park pond on the grounds of Oak Creek High School.
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