US police officers recall gurdwara shooting horror

Syndicated from IANS | Published on Thu, Nov 15 2012 10:09 IST | 13 Views | Add comment
Washington, Nov 15

Two US police officers who helped save several lives during the August shootout at a Sikh gurdwara at Oak Creek, Wisconsin that left six worshippers dead have recalled the horror of that day.

In their first television interviews, Police Lt. Brian Murphy and Officer Sam Lenda recalled to CBS News that bright Sunday morning when Wade Michael Page a supremacist walked into the Sikh temple and started shooting.

It was 10:26 the morning when Oak Creek police got the first 911 calls.

"There is a guy in the church shooting with a gun," the dispatcher said. Murphy arrived first at the Sikh temple. He found two bodies in the parking lot.

"I need an ambulance. I do not see a shooter anywhere," Murphy can be 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, a white supremacist armed with a nine millimeter semi-automatic pistol.

"I moved forward and realised that, very quickly, that this is probably the guy that we're looking for," Murphy told CBS News, his voice raspy from his injuries.

"That's when he raised his gun and we probably shot close to the same time," Murphy was quoted as saying. "The first shot took me here. And that's why my voice is the way it is."

Surveillance video shows Page running toward Murphy, who is on the ground wounded and out of frame. Page shot Murphy 12 times.

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.

Lenda's dashboard camera shows a tense exchange. "Drop the gun! Drop the gun!" Lenda shouted.

"This is when I start firing at him. I hit him on the second round," Lenda told CBS, going through the events that day moment by moment.

Lenda hit Page at a range of 60 yards. The wounded gunman shot himself in the head.

Video from his police car's dashboard -- never-before seen publicly -- shows Lenda advancing on the gunman as more than two dozen people were still in danger.

"He was on a mission. I say, I confronted evil in the parking lot. And evil was not gonna leave there."

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