Oak Creek policeman still in critical condition after temple shootingWisconsin News
-- Oak Creek Police lieutenant Brian Murphy – who was shot while helping a victim of the Sikh Temple massacre – remains hospitalized in critical condition. Police Chief John Edwards says the 51-year-old Murphy is resting, and he’s surrounded by his family.
OAK CREEK - Oak Creek Police lieutenant Brian Murphy – who was shot while helping a victim of the Sikh Temple massacre – remains hospitalized in critical condition. Police Chief John Edwards says the 51-year-old Murphy is resting, and he’s surrounded by his family.
Murphy, fellow officer Sam Lenda, and Sikh Temple of Wisconsin president Satwant Kaleka are being called heroes. They either took bullets from assailant Wade Michael Page, or contributed to the gunman’s death. Officials said Murphy was shot up to nine times at close range while helping one of the worshippers who was shot, and encouraging other officers to track down the gunman. Lenda, a 32-year police veteran, was among those showing up soon after Murphy did. And during a shootout, he fired the bullet that killed Page. Kaleka stared down at the gunman and tried to stab him with a butter knife before Page fatally shot him twice in his legs.
The head of Wisconsin Professional Police Association says Lenda does not consider himself a hero – and he was just doing his job. An investigation continues into the mass slayings, Kaleka’s family hopes to have all six victims at a public visitation planned for Friday morning at Oak Creek High School.
A public visitation is being planned for Friday at Oak Creek High School for the six Sikh Temple worshippers killed in Sunday’s mass shootings. Relatives of slain temple president Satwant Kaleka hope to have a joint visitation, in which all the victims are together for everyone to pay their respects. The visitation is planned for 9-to-11 on Friday morning. Private cremations are then planned which follow Sikh traditions – and at least two of the victims’ bodies will be flown to India as their final resting places.
Governor Scott Walker and his wife Tonette joined hundreds of mourners last night at a Sikh temple in Brookfield. They offered prayers and support for the victims and survivors of Sunday’s temple shootings in Oak Creek. Attendees of numerous faiths all wore scarves to cover their heads during the service, as Sikhs sat on the floor for a regular evening prayer service. U.S. Attorney James Santelle told the audience that the Sikhs have a fundamental tolerance of all people and all faiths, and quote, “I join you in that spirit … that is what the United States of America is all about.” Governor Walker met briefly with Sikh community members outside the temple – and he met with a large group of leaders inside. A candlelight vigil followed the service. Meanwhile, over 200 people attended a vigil at the Oak Creek Community United Methodist Church last night. Hymns and prayers were recited. The Reverend Paul Armstrong and others called for peace and healing. Meanwhile, two Web sites have raised thousands of dollars to help the victims’ families. They’re at WeAreSikhs-Dot-Com and InDiegoGo-Dot-com-slash-Milwaukee-hyphen-Sikh. This morning, the InDiego site said it raised almost 75-thousand-dollars – almost three times its goal.
India’s leaders are outraged over Sunday’s attack on the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek. The Web site “Foreign Policy” said Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton called India’s Foreign Minister S.M. Kirshna from Africa yesterday to try and smooth things over. That’s after Krishna criticized the U.S. for failed policies and a growing trend of violent incidents against religious minorities. Four of the six worshippers killed in Oak Creek were Indian nationals. The Foreign Policy report said India’s government officials and Sikh leaders in the country were demanding that the U.S. do more to protect Sikhs living in America. Protests reportedly broke out in several of India’s cities upon the news of the Wisconsin attack – and some officials demanded stricter gun laws in the U.S. In New Delhi, U.S. Ambassador Nancy Powell visited a Sikh temple to pay her respects – and she met with national leaders to express condolences and promise a thorough investigation.
His step-mother says Wade Michael Page grew up as a “precious child” in a normal family. And they have no idea how he developed the white supremist thoughts that may have drove him to kill six Sikh Temple members in Oak Creek on Sunday. Authorities say they may never know for sure what spurred the 40-year-old Page to carry out his shooting spree – which ended in his death during a shootout with Oak Creek Police. But various Internet and media profiles of Page suggested that he was very active in promoting his white supremist thoughts in heavy metal rock bands and Internet forums. And he encouraged others to do the same. That was after Page served six years in the Army from 1992-to-’98, enlisting in Milwaukee and eventually becoming a psychological operations specialist. The AP said he was demoted in ’98 for drinking on duty and going AWOL. In 2007, Page obtained a VA mortgage to buy a home in Fayetteville, North Carolina. It has since foreclosed and remains vacant today. In the meantime, Page returned to Wisconsin late last year to live with a girlfriend. He worked a third-shift factory job. But he lost that job, broke up with his girlfriend, and moved to a duplex apartment in Cudahy in June where residents described him as a grumpy loner. Records show he was arrested for drunk driving a couple times – and he pleaded guilty to kicking holes in the wall of a tavern in Texas.
Also today, President Obama said he would wait for the results of an FBI investigation into the shootings, before he would consider gun control measures in response to the tragedy. The president said events like Sunday’s shootings occur with quote, “too much regularity.” Obama said he would consider ways to reduce violence – but he would not go as far to pledge new gun laws.