OAK CREEK – Lieutenant Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda received several standing ovations during a ceremony at the Oak Creek Community Center on Wednesday. They are credited with ending the attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin just six minutes after the first 911 call.
“I think all of us remember where we were on August 5, 2012,” said Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi.
Murphy and Lenda received the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery.
“I simply want to thank these two men and our law enforcement personnel who do this to keep us safe,” said Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI).
The attacker shot Murphy more than a dozen times. “We are our brother’s keeper. That’s not only for law enforcement. That’s what we all should do as citizens,” Murphy said.
Lenda fired the shot that stopped the attacker.
“I learned that liberty has a price,” Lenda said. “True heroes are those who have laid down their lives at the altar of freedom. I am far, far from being a hero and will never call myself one.”
Six devotees died. Several more Sikh faithful were hiding in fear inside the temple.
“These were people you didn’t really know,” said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI). “They weren’t your kin. And yet, you were willing to lay your life down for them.”
Lieutenant Murphy retired after the attack.
Officer Lenda is the senior member of the Oak Creek police force.